Steven L. Manning, 44 – Suspicious Overboard, Carnival Victory Passenger, April 22, 2008, Time of Death 1:00-6:00
Steven Manning, 44, from Ottawa, Illinois was aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Victory on an Eastern Caribbean cruise when he went missing about 40 miles off the shore of Cozumel, Mexico on April 22, 2008.
Manning was reported missing by his wife, when she failed to find him after as prolonged period of time. He was last seen abour 1am on Tuesday morning. The U.S. coast guard began searching for Manning at day break, after he had been missing for several hours, but after no luck, called off the search today. Manning went missing on Tuesday April 22th. The USCG searched more than 1,500 square miles of ocean during the search.
A source close to the family who works at the La Salle County Courthouse, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Manning owned and operated Chuggerz at 615 Columbus St, Ottawa, IL in downtown Ottawa.
Ottawa, Illinois is a blue-collar town 130 kilometres southwest of Chicago.
The site description of the tavern says, “With a beer garden and great beer prices, Chuggers is a great place to hang out. There is a DJ on Fridays. You can listen to music, dance, or head to the back room for a game of pool. Then on Saturdays come enjoy live bands. We are open til 3am on Saturday for those of you who like that extra hour.”
The tavern has their menu on the Myspace profile main page.
The bar sponsors a softball team run by Manning friend Jen Troccoli. She called Manning on Monday, forgetting he was on a cruise and spoke with him at that time. She says that he was cheerful and sounded like he was having a great time.
The Myspace account indicates that Manning is single, though news reports say he is married. Updated reports say that Manning married his wife Tara back in September 2007.
Chuggerz was the Zeller Inn Pub & Eatery, known as a biker bar in biker circles. It is described as a Historical 1800s saloon, owned at that time by Del and Julie.
The Mannings had left on their cruise on Sunday April 20th, the day after Mr. Manning’s 44th birthday. The ship is due back in port on April 27th.
UPDATE: May 1, 2008
Tera Manning says her husband’s death was no accident, and there was no way Steven took his own life. She thinks her husband met with foul play after going to the casino in the wee hours of the morning while Tera slept in their cabin.
“I just want my husband to come home!” said Tera Manning. “I think somebody did something to him. My husband liked to flash his money.” The FBI says unfortunately there were not enough security cameras aboard Victory, so there are lapses in time where no cameras saw Manning aboard that fateful night.
Mrs. Manning was not thrilled with the Carnival response saying, “I think they’re trying to sweep everything under the carpet,” Tera Manning said. “I think they’re trying to make it go away.”