Celebrity Mercury - August 28, 2004
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Celebrity Mercury Passenger, August 28, 2004
Merrian Lynn Carver, 40, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, was a former investment banker who loved to write poetry. She was sailing aboard Celebrity Cruises' Mercury when she disappeared on August 28, 2004.
She had a 13-year-old daughter who was staying with her ex-husband in England. She took CDs of her poems with her, but no computer, they were left in her handbag, in her room. She didn't tell the 13 year old non-custodial daughter she spoke with on the phone daily, that she was taking a cruise, nor did she tell her parents. Her parents found out she was missing when they were called by their grand-daughter, after not her calls to her mother had gone unanswered.
Her parents tried to reach her for several days without success, and then filed a missing persons report. A police investigation five weeks later determined she had taken a cruise, and then went missing. She purchased round trip air fare with her cruise, which is frequently cheaper than one way. On night two of the cruise, she was suddenly missing. She never slept in the bed from night two on.
Her cabin steward, Domingo Monteiro reported her not using her cabin, numerous times, and was told to shut up and mind his business when he reported her missing to his superior, and he was told to keep putting fresh chocolates on her pillow. The report was never taken any higher in the chain of command.
Her belongings had remained in her cabin when everybody else got off the ship.
Her cabin steward told his superior this. He asked his boss, should we report this? The boss says, " No. I'll take care of it. Just put all of her belongings in a bag. Put them in my locker and I'll take care of it.'"
Her handbag had her wallet with her name, Social Security number and everything. They just put it in storage, did nothing. No missing persons report was filed with the police by the cruise line, nor did they attempt to reunite the handbag with money and identification with the owner. At some point during the five weeks, the cruise ship decided to give away her belongings that had been in storage, to charity. After the Carvers started complaining, Royal Caribbean had held an internal hearing and fired Monteiro's boss. But for the three months that the Carvers had been asking questions, the cruise line had never shared that information with them. After her father, Kendall Carver began his own investigation, hiring one of the word's largest private-detective agencies and was being serviced by Tim Schmolder private detective from San Francisco, who was on the case, Domingo's superior was terminated, memos went out to 14 other employees onboard, wanting to know if Domingo had talked to anyone about this event.
Kendall Carver said that Royal Caribbean's own documents offer evidence of cover-up. One memo shows that months earlier, company officials knew Monteiro had reported suspicious circumstances to his supervisor. The Kendall's demanded Royal Caribbean produce a list of other passengers from the Boston area, where their daughter had lived, in case there was a friend or someone who might know about Merrian. Kendall Carver said that the subpoenas produced a list of the ship's 2,000 passengers, with no contact information.
Merrian ordered two sandwiches through room service on night two, and was never seen after that. On night two she (or somebody) left the entire trip tip for the room steward, $108, instead of leaving the tip on the last day of the cruise as is common, on a table with his name card on top of it. She never used the return portion of the airline ticket.
Her father has spent more than $75,000 to date to get answers to the question, "what happened to my daughter?" He has also founded the International Cruise Victim not-for-profit organization
Royal Caribbean outraged the Carvers when they issued a press release stating that Merrian "appears to have committed suicide on our ship." Jeffrey Maltzman, Royal Caribbean's attorney said that it was not the cruise line's responsibility to say what happened to Merrian, the cruise line doesn't have the expertise to determine cause of death, that was law enforcement's job.
According to Kendall Carver, an ex-crew member contacted him, who worked on board the cruise Merrian took. He says there were conversations among crew members that she was involved with one of the crew members. Kendall says it took the crew member alot of effort to find him, and this accounts for such a long delay in getting key information to her family.
He says, "This was a crew member on the ship, a former crew member on the ship. And he has referred us to additional crew members on the ship, one of which we've been in communication with, and one of which has indicated that the story among the crew is that one of the individuals on that ship, one of the crew members, was involved with Merrian."
He goes onto say, "it's highly significant because it starts to answer all the questions that we've had on Merrian. Why she wasn't reported missing. Why her items were, at the end of the trip, just put in storage or thrown away. If it's true, at this point, it's hearsay. But it's the story coming from crew members."