Carnival Dream - October 10, 2011
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Carnival Dream Passenger, October 10, 2011
Time of Death is unknown
October 8, 2011, Alicia Keir, 20, of DeMotte, Indiana embarked on a Caribbean cruise. On October 10, 2011, Keir was cruising aboard Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Dream to the Caribbean with a friend celebrating a birthday, when she gave birth to a baby while inside her cruise ship cabin. Keir discarded the baby girl in the cabin, wrapping it in a towel, then hiding it under a cruise ship cabin bed. She then left the cabin and went on enjoying her cruise.
A cabin housekeeping crew member entering Alicia Keir's cabin aboard Carnival Dream, discovered the dead body of the recently born infant, which we call "Baby Doe", on Wednesday, October 12, 2011. For two days Keir and her cabin mates used the cabin, slept in their beds with the baby stuffed under the cabin bed.
The discarded baby was discovered prior to Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Dream arrival at St. Maarten and was disembarked at the port where an investigation began into how and when the tiny baby died aboard Carnival Dream.
An FBI agent flew out to St. Maarten to launch their own investigation because the mother is a U.S. citizen and automatically her child was an American, as well Carnival Dream embarked from a U.S. port. Further, Dutch investigators determined that the child likely died between Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and St. Thomas, putting criminal jurisdiction solidly into American hands. That determination in no way addresses the fact the ship called at Nassau in the Bahamas on Sunday and Carnival Dream is registered in Panama.
Keir told the FBI during their investigation that she boarded the cruise to St. Maarten unaware she was pregnant. This does not explain why after the infant was born, she was having a good time aboard the ship, while the baby, presumably dead, was in the cabin alone, having received no professional medical treatment.
Passengers who are pregnant late in their term are not allowed to board any cruise ship. The policies state that cruise ships are not equipped to handle emergency situations related to complications involving infants and their mothers.
An autopsy performed by a Dutch coroner on Thursday, October 13 determined the baby girl was born sometime between Saturday and Tuesday and the baby was born alive. The child died from exposure and lack of care.
The FBI investigation this crime on the high seas entered into a plea agreement with Keir on April 29, 2015. For the plea deal, Keir admitted she knew that she was pregnant when she boarded the cruise ship, her pregnancy had been kept secret from her friends and family.
The plea deal states the newborn infant was born alive, was full term and was born without disease or defect. Keir admits she did not seek medical attention for the infant and gave birth alone in her cruise ship cabin.
Keir agreed to enter a plea of guilty to involuntary manslaughter with a possible sentence of 8 years in prison, $250,000 fine and 3 years supervision after she is released from prison.
On Wednesday May 13, 2015, she entered her guilty plea, which was accepted by Judge Rudy Lozano. She will be sentenced in court at 1 pm on Thursday, August 20, 201.She was released on an unsecured $20,000 bond.
Carnival Dream, designed to carry a maximum of over 4,600 passengers and a crew of nearly 1,400, left Port Canaveral, Florida on Saturday October 8, 2011 around 1700 hours. The ship sailed to Nassau in the Bahamas arriving on Sunday. Then, sailed onto St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, arriving there around 1000 hours on Tuesday morning. Wednesday morning the ship arrived in Philipsburg at St. Maarten around 0800 hours. Carnival Dream then left St. Maarten Wednesday evening and sailed back to Port Canaveral, Florida.
Update: August 20, 2015
Sentencing hearing was given a continuation. No new sentencing date has been given. The continuation was granted after a baby nephew of Alicia Keir's died on August 11, 2015 at the age of 22 months, according to his obituary. The nephew had been born October 5, 2013, (almost exactly two years after Baby Doe died) with Coronary heart disease, undergoing four heart surgeries. before passing away.
According to the court continuance request, the family was finding it difficult to deal with the death one family baby (nephew) while the mother convicted of another family baby death was being sent to jail. Keir was listed in the online obituary for the boy. We will update the case when sentencing is posted.
Update: October 14, 2015
Keir's lawyer says a family had invited Keir as their guest to go on the cruise. The single, unmarried Keir says she thought she was only six weeks pregnant when she took the cruise. Apparently, she had unprotected sex again, after she conceived Baby Doe.
Then, Alicia Keir at least once again had unprotected sex giving birth to another baby girl, Ar---, while awaiting sentencing on the cruise ship murder of Baby Doe. Keir says she receives no child support from the father of Ar--- and is she is unemployed.
In addition, Keir has received mental health treatment at Regional Mental Health Center. There, she was diagnosed with 1. Major depressive disorder; 2. Moderate anxiety; 3. Polysubstance dependence (alcohol and marijuana) Keir is also on medication for depression and mental status health.
So, who is paying to support the poor little single mother Alicia Keir and her most recent baby, though it appears Keir has had money for enough drugs and booze to require treatment for drug abuse?
Keir's lawyer summarizes, that she has paid her debt to society through four years of living under public scrutiny after the death of Baby Doe. He further pleads she has learned her lesson, is now a good mother and no threat to society. Therefore, Alicia Keir should not be given any prison time, because she has a baby who depends on her, as a single parent. He is asking for a sentence of probation only.
Had Alicia Keir given birth, sought immediate care for the baby aboard the cruise ship, as we have seen in numerous other cases of birth at sea such as Haiden Morgan, she would have been treated to the support of the world and likely would have had a very successful GoFundMe account, with donations pouring in from around the world.
Instead, she allowed the baby die and remain alone in the cruise ship cabin rather than suffer the personal embarrassment, when traveling companions discovered she was pregnant. There was also the inconvenience of having the cruise end early with her and the baby being disembarked at the next port.
Now, she uses a second baby for convenient purposes, this time to stay out of prison. This is third time she has used a child to further her own selfish needs, Baby Doe, the death of the nephew a few months ago to delay sentencing and now her young daughter to stay out of prison. This is a selfish trend, not one fitting of a good mother.
Cruise Bruise demands justice for Baby Doe. Alicia Keir has clearly demonstrated her mothering abilities. Placing her in prison for the full EIGHT years would at least delay any more children from being MOTHERED by Alicia Keir. Note: Federal convictions do not get time off for good behavior. This case is still unfolding.
Update: October 22, 2015
Alicia Keir was sentenced today. U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano sentenced Alicia Keir to one day in prison with two years on supervised release. Federal sentencing guidelines recommended a minimum of 33 months supervised release.
If ever there was a WTF Cruise Ship Deaths case, this is certainly it.