Carnival Ecstasy - February 16, 2010
Cruise Ship Passenger Deaths
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Cruise Ship Murder At Sea
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Carnival Ecstasy Passenger, February 16, 2010
Time of Death is unknown
The United States Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the death of cruise ship passenger Kipi Holcomb, 32, of Churchill, Texas who was found dead in her cabin aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines' Ecstasy. FBI agents flew to Mexico to board the ship as their investigation into the circumstances of Holcomb's death began. Holcomb's body was taken to the Galveston County Medical Examiner's Office after the ship docked at the Port of Galveston early Saturday morning, February 20, 2010.
Ecstasy had left Galveston, Texas on Monday, February 15, around 1600 hours for a Mexican cruise. The ship was at sea on Tuesday and arrived on Wednesday, February 17th at Progreso, Mexico. The ship then went onto Cozumel, Mexico the next day, with another day and half at sea before arriving back in Galveston on Saturday morning. A report in a Madagorda newspaper for an arrest record related to an incident involving Kipi Shay Wiley-Holcomb and a man identified as boyfriend Jeffrey Aaron Stultz. The two were reported as arrested for public intoxication in what was described as a domestic violence incident. Though no arrest records for the incident exists, police were on the scene.
The incident was reported on Thanksgiving weekend, Friday November 27, 2009 when an OnStar operator notified police that a client had pushed the emergency button in her car. The OnStar operator told police Holcomb had stated that her boyfriend was assaulting her.
Stultz called the dispatch operator a few minutes later and allegedly told them that Holcomb had jumped from the vehicle and was lying in the middle of the roadway screaming and hitting herself.
The location of the incident was on or near FM 2540, also known as Farm To Market Road 2540, a road located in Brazoria County Texas, near where Holcomb is said to have resided. The area is located less than two hours away from Galveston, Texas where Holcomb embarked.
The police record shows that after the responding deputy arrived, he noticed a strong odor of alcohol on each one's breath and each had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. Female had a bruised and swollen eye and refused medical treatment according to the report.
Records show that Kipi Shay Wiley-Holcomb was the Editor-in-Chief of the Brazosport College newspaper, The Navigator and an honors student. The college is located at 500 College Drive, Lake Jackson, Texas.
Holcomb spent most of fall 2007 aboard the Scholar Ship, a semester-long academic program taking students to ports of call in Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and beyond. She celebrated her 30th birthday at sea on September 21, 2007 aboard that ship. Reports of this birthday celebration matches the birth date on the arrest records, stated above.
Her last stop on the cruise was Australia. There she was said to have become ill and taken off the ship in a medical evacuation right before Thanksgiving.
There are other reports that say Holcomb's fondness of the sea was vast. A news article dated April 1, 2003 shows a photograph of her hoisting a huge snapper she caught while aboard Captain Elliott's Party Boats out of Freeport, Texas. Some reports are saying that Holcomb was beaten to death in her cabin. This report could be an assumption base on previous claims of alleged abuse by the boyfriend. FBI agent Pat Villafranca has publicly stated, "Her body did not have any visible signs of trauma."
On April 28, 2010, toxicology report released today revealed Holcomb's blood-alcohol level was.27, more than three times the driving legal limit of.08. The report also said Holcomb had cocaine, promethazine and THC in her system. Promethazine helps prevent an upset stomach, the medical examiner's office said, and THC is the main active chemical in marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.