A Utah man accused of murdering his wife aboard an Alaskan cruise ship told a witness that he did it because she “would not stop laughing” at him, according to an FBI criminal complaint.
The FBI charged Kenneth Manzanares, 39, with murder in connection with his wife’s death aboard the Emerald Princess ship operated by Princess Cruises, the Daily Mail reported.
Fox News reports that Manzanares got into a dispute with his wife, Kristy Manzanares, around 9 p.m. Tuesday night. The ship departed from Seattle Sunday and was making a seven-day voyage along the Alaskan panhandle.
The couple was celebrating their anniversary on board the cruise with a large group that included their children, neighbors who knew the couple said.
About 3,400 passengers and 1,100 crew members were on board at the time of the incident. Shortly after 9 p.m., passengers reported screaming in the hallway.
“People were running through the hall with blood all over them and trying to get security,” passenger Megan Morr said.
At 9:03 p.m., the captain called medical and security personnel to the couple’s cabin, where medics determined Kristy suffered a severe wound to the head. Medical personnel pronounced her dead 20 minutes later.
FBI officials said a witness arrived at the cabin before the crew and stopped Manzanares from dragging his wife’s body to the balcony of their blood-soaked cabin by pulling her body by the ankles back to the cabin.
When the witness asked Manzanares what happened, he allegedly told the witness, “She would not stop laughing at me.”
Court documents state that “blood was spread throughout” the cabin and appeared on “multiple surfaces.”
Another witness, Brian Eckstrom, told KTUU that he saw a man walking from the hallway where the alleged crime took place covered from head to toe in blood and saying, “It’s not good, it’s not good.”
Manzanares allegedly tried to jump off the ship, but officers caught him.
“They were on deck 7 and he tried to run up to deck 9 to jump off the ship, but security grabbed him before he could jump,” Morr said.
Manzanares reportedly told the investigators searching him that his “life is over,” according to court documents.
Passengers originally thought the death was a hoax because the cruise ship hosted a murder mystery themed dinner the same evening the alleged crime took place, CBS News reported.
FBI agents boarded the ship in Juneau, Alaska, Wednesday morning and interviewed witnesses aboard the ship while the rest of the ship was put on lockdown for a few hours, KOMO reported.
When deaths occur in international or U.S. waters, the FBI has jurisdiction over the case, according to the Associated Press (AP).
After the FBI finished interviewing witnesses and taking the suspect into custody, the ship continued on as planned to the next destination in Skagway, Alaska.
The AP reports that Manzanares made his first court appearance Thursday via video chat and was appointed a public defender.
Princess Cruises said in a statement confirming the woman’s death Thursday that all passengers would receive a $150 credit to use onboard the ship.