The FBI has joined local authorities in Aruba in investigating the death of an American woman Tuesday on a Princess Cruises ship.
Aruba Public Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Ann Angela said the FBI quickly got involved in the investigation into the death of the woman, who died after plunging from an upper deck of the 3,600-passenger Royal Princess onto a lifeboat below. The U.S. agency is working with local authorities to determine if a crime was committed, she said.
“The relationship between us and the U.S. authorities is very good,” Angela told USA TODAY early Thursday. “We are cooperating.”
Aruba is at the forefront of the investigation because the ship was sailing to Aruba at the time of the incident. Aruba police and forensics technicians boarded the vessel Tuesday after it arrived in Aruba, just hours after the incident occurred.
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Angela said local authorities in Aruba still are trying to determine whether the woman’s death was an accident or a crime.
“It’s obvious that she fell, but why did she fall? Was she pushed? Did she jump?” Angela said. “That is what we are investigating, to find out exactly what happened.”
Some news outlets in Aruba this week have said the death was being probed as a possible murder. An Aruba police Facebook post, loosely translated, said the incident “probably does not give a natural death,” CBS News reported early Thursday.
Angela said an autopsy of the woman has been conducted but the results will not be released as they are part of an ongoing investigation.
She said the husband of the dead woman has stayed on the island voluntarily since the investigation began. The Aruba police have no one in custody in relationship to the incident, she said.
“If the evidence points towards it being a crime, then of course we will look into (a) suspect,” she added, noting that as policy Aruba authorities don’t discuss suspects during investigations.
While the investigation continued early Thursday, Angela suggested it could be wrapped up fairly soon.
“I think it will not take long before we reach conclusions,” she said.
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