Kristy Manzanares/Facebook

High school sweethearts Kristy and Kenneth Manzanares wanted to take a family trip with their daughters and extended family members. During the trip, they would also celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary.

According to People, the Manzanares family booked a week-long journey along the Alaskan panhandle aboard a Princess Cruise ship called the “Emerald Princess.”

The ship left Seattle, Washington, on July 23. But as previously reported by Dearly, the family’s vacation was tragically cut short two days into the journey.


An unnamed family member, who was not on the boat, told People previously that Kenneth was “belligerent” during dinner on July 25. At some point after dinner, Kristy asked for a divorce, which prompted a loud argument inside their cabin.

According to, cruise passengers responded to the domestic dispute while crew members were called to the scene.

Federal court documents, reported by the Washington Post, state that Kenneth was found bloodied and standing over Kristy’s body. Kenneth told a witness that “she wouldn’t stop laughing at me.”

One of the passengers, Chris Ceman, told CBS News that he was in the hallway when he saw a young girl run out of a room:

“One of the little girls from that room came running out, calling for help, that her parents had been in a fight. She sounded pretty desperate, but the crew came up as quickly as they could.”

Another passenger, Jens Larsen, according to WMUR, recalls hearing a young girl saying:

“I knew my dad would do this. I knew he would do this.”

At some point, Kenneth tried dragging Kristy’s body to the balcony to throw her overboard. He also tried to jump overboard himself. When he was arrested, Fox 13 reported, he told police:

“My life is over.”

CBS reports that passengers aboard the cruise ship Emerald Princess were preparing for a “murder mystery” dinner when a mother from Utah was killed. At first, a few passengers thought the incident might’ve been related.

The family released a statement in an email, reported by the Salt Lake Tribune:

We are devastated over the loss of Kristy. She is the light of our lives — a devoted mother, daughter, sister and friend. Kristy led by example with her giving heart and we are inspired by the legacy of kindness and optimism she has instilled in her children. Kristy and her family were on the cruise as part of a family vacation trip with other extended family members.

The daughters were taken off the ship after the incident, according to Fox 13. The Salt Lake Tribune reports they are now staying with family members.

The cruise ship was diverted the following day for the FBI to investigate. Passengers were given $150 in boat credit for the change in itinerary.

The FBI announced that Kristy suffered a severe head wound. The cause of her death has not yet been released.

Kenneth was indicted on first-degree murder on August 18. He could face the death penalty. Friends of the family have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the daughters they left behind.

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