Gregory Gonzales Navarro, 27 – Suicide Hanging, Carnival Victory Crew, June 14, 2009, Time of Death is unknown.
The family in this case is beyond grief-stricken. They say their son and husband, Gregory Gonzalez Navarro, 27, from Peru, though he carried an American passport for his job, was found hanging by his neck on an outside deck by lifeboat #8 aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Victory. It seemed more like a stern message to other crew members, than the typical act to end a life, done overboard or in the privacy of a cabin.
Carnival Corp says that Navarro was found at about 2120 hours, bound to the structure of the ship that was anchored at pier 4 of the Tour Gilberto Concepción de Gracia of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. His wife says Carnival Corp told her, he died Sunday afternoon. She points out that 9:20 in the evening is not “afternoon” and is just the tip of the contradictions in this case.
Many Co-workers who worked with him over the years have raced to his defense, demanding an investigation. They say it is incredible to think he would commit suicide and for a fact there was no suicide note found near him or in his cabin, only a cell phone in his possession.
Gregory was quiet, polite and very professional according to his co-workers and had not been drinking, nor did he ever drink, naturally pleasant and fun to be around.
Further, he told his mother he would call her on Sunday afternoon. When he did not call, she became worried. Prior to that, the family said there was no indication that Navarro was depressed, in fact just the opposite was true.
More oddly, the family said he had just made plans to take his family and move back to Peru. He was cheerful and upbeat about his future.
He had been working on Carnival Cruise line ships for ten years as a chief mechanic, though it had been a troubled employment, with what the family claims was harassment from his supervisor, a story that seems so very familiar.
According to Yuli Ruiz, her husband had trouble with his boss, an Italian who apparently envied him. She says that she contacted Carnival Corp and has gotten nowhere at all.
Navarro’s co-workers, by the dozens, claim that there is much discrimination against the Latino people who work aboard, and therefore security aboard ruled that Navarro Gonzales committed suicide. One person, who claims to have been a waiter aboard Victory says,
“I worked there and did not think it was suicide since there is so much discrimination strikes me as very odd.”
He was not the only one claiming that Navarro couldn’t have possibly committed suicide ,it had to be murder. They point to the cameras aboard the ship and why there is no evidence that he hung himself on the video.
The family has demanded that law enforcement in Puerto Rico take control of the case and find out what really happened.
With ten years aboard, it is hard to imagine that suddenly conditions became unbearable enough to end a life.
If this was the only hanging, the story might end here. But Navarro was the second of three hangings aboard a cruise ship since late 2008. The other two are Przemyslaw Moranski and Camila Peixoto Bandeira.
UPDATE: August 15, 2014
Mystery Solved: In a lawsuit filed against Carnival Cruise Lines on behalf of Gregory Gonzalez Navarro, the family says in the court filing, his death was a suicide.