Monika Markiewicz, 32, Murdered Crew Member, Allure Of The Seas Passenger, February 4, 2011, Time of Death is unknown.
With violence growing in Mexico, cruise ships re-positioning their assets to other markets, leaving Mexico behind, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is still calling at Mexican ports, in spite of the threat of violence passengers and crew face.
It was unclear initially, if Monika Markiewicz, 32, who worked aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Allure Of The Seas knew her attacker or was the victim of increasing Mexican violence while she was in the port of Cozumel on Friday, February 4, 2011.
Allure Of The Seas arrived in Cozumel around 0800 hours. When the ship was ready to leave port at 1900 hours, Markiewicz had not returned. On Sunday after Allure Of The Seas was back in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, her body was found; she had been murdered.
While asphyxiation by submersion (drowning) was ruled the cause of death, Mexican authorities say Markiewicz suffered a blow to the head, at minimum, before she was apparently tossed into the sea, where her body was later found. She was found to the south of the island, floating, in a zone known as “Curve Torments”.
Royal Caribbean spokesman Cynthia Martinez said the information the company had received indicated “she was the victim of a violent crime, and did not drown accidentally.” She referred questions about the case to Mexican authorities.
A Royal Caribbean statement said Markiewicz, a Polish national, debarked from the Allure of the Seas on Friday and did not return. The statement said Markiewicz worked as a musician aboard the ship.
“Tragically, we recently became aware that the crew member was a victim of a violent crime while ashore in a remote area in Cozumel,” the statement said. “We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of our crew member.”
The attorney general said Markiewicz left the ship with an unidentified companion who was located Sunday at a Cancun hospital. Alor said authorities were trying to determine what Markiewicz and the companion were doing when the Polish woman died.
Nelson Perez Torres, 24, confessed to hitting Monika Markiewicz in the head with a rock and then throwing her into the ocean, said Francisco Alor, attorney general of Quintana Roo state, where Cozumel is located.
Perez Torres told investigators that he met Markiewicz at a bar in Cozumel where he worked as a busboy and that they had dated and argued the day he hit her in the head with a rock and pushed her into the ocean.