A Utah man accused of killing his wife onboard a cruise ship in Alaska made a brief appearance in federal court in Anchorage.
Court records show Kenneth Manzanares, 39, appeared briefly before a federal judge on Thursday on a murder charge. Manzanares is facing a federal charge because the death occurred in U.S. territorial waters, with a potential life imprisonment or death penalty.
The judge advised Manzanares of the charges and potential penalties, then ordered him detained pending an August 10 preliminary examination. It appears federal prosecutors are planning to seek a grand jury indictment ahead of that hearing. Court records do not state if a plea was entered.
Court documents obtained by FOX 13 show that on July 25, security onboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship were called to a cabin that Kenneth and Kristy Manzanares were staying in.
“KM (Kristy Manzanares) had a severe head wound and blood was spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces,” FBI Special Agent Michael Watson wrote in an affidavit.
Witnesses told FBI agents they entered the cabin and saw blood on Kenneth Manzanares’ hands and clothes and saw her body on the floor, covered in blood. When one asked Kenneth Manzanares what happened, the FBI affidavit said he replied: “She would not stop laughing at me.”
The witness told the FBI that Manzanares then grabbed his wife’s body and dragged it toward the balcony.
“D.H. then grabbed the ankles of K.M.’s body and pulled her back into the cabin of D726. Soon after, Emerald Princess security entered D726 and restrained and secured Manzanares,” the agent wrote in the affidavit.
“Later, when Manzanares was being processed during a search by the F.B.I. for physical evidence, he spontaneously stated, ‘my life is over.'”
Passengers on the cruise ship said they had heard fighting leading up to the discovery of Kristy Manzanares’ death and also claimed Kenneth tried to jump off the cruise liner at one point.
In a statement released Friday night, Kristy’s family said they were devastated over her death and asked for privacy as they grieved.
“She is the light of our lives – a devoted mother, daughter, sister and friend. Kristy led by example with her giving heart and we are inspired by the legacy of kindness and optimism she has instilled in her children,” they wrote.
An account for memorial services and to support her children has been set up at Zions Bank in Kristy Hunt Manzanares’ name.