Paige Washington Child Passenger Cruise Ship Death Aboard Emerald Seas Murder

Carol Ann Washington and Paige Washington
Carol Ann Washington and Paige Washington

On August 4, 1986, little baby Paige Washington, only 18-months-old, from Detroit, Michigan was on a three day cruise to the Bahamas, that left on August 1, 1986. She would never come home alive, murdered by her mother aboard Eastern Cruise Lines’ Emerald Seas while the cruise ship was sailing the Caribbean.

The girl’s mother, Carol Ann Washington, age 28, was arrested for the murder. She was charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with murder on the high seas.

She was questioned on board the ship and then transferred to the North Dade County Federal detention facility.

The mother and her 18-month-old daughter were under guard as suspected stowaways hours before the child died in their cruise ship cabin, according to court documents.

Crew members who found the body of the child, Paige Washington, said she was apparently strangled, said Bernard Chabot, president of Eastern Cruise Lines.

Paige was murdered five days after the ship was struck by a fire and explosion that injured 17 people.

At trial, a Federal judge found the mother not guilty by reason of insanity in the suffocation death of her 18-month-old daughter while both were stowaways aboard a cruise ship.

Instead Judge James Lawrence King ordered Carol Ann Washington, confined for an ”indeterminate period for care, treatment and observation for mental illness.”

Washington and her daughter, Paige, boarded the Emerald Seas ship Aug. 1, 1986. When it was discovered they had no tickets, they were placed in a guarded cabin.

Ms. Washington, who killed the child August 4, told authorities she feared crew members would enter the cabin and sexually abuse her and the child.