After being together since June 8, 2002, George and I were ecstatic to get married and embark on a romantic 12-day Mediterranean cruise that we had excitedly planned together. We were halfway through our honeymoon cruise that was nearly as joyous and memorable as our wedding day...until the unthinkable happened.
A night that began with a romantic dinner for two ended with the tragic death of my husband. George had "accidentally" fallen overboard, according to cruise officials and the ship's captain. Not realizing anything was amiss until receiving this horrifying news from cruise employees who had found blood beneath our balcony, I began going in and out of shock. The nightmare for all of us had just begun.
Though we assume that we have all of the rights of U.S. citizens aboard these mainly American cruises, the captain insisted I leave the ship in order to undergo a day of interrogation by Turkish officials. The captain lied about where I was going and with whom, but more importantly he appeared satisfied to get me off the ship, expedite the investigation, and keep his schedule. The captain did not seem very concerned about my husband, and to this day has repeatedly lied about how this tragic news was relayed to us, the way he conducted himself the day George disappeared, and how he prematurely labeled this “an accident” and influenced the way in which George’s death was investigated from the start.
We wish that the ship could have remained in Turkey so that other important witnesses and people of interest could have been interviewed and/or interrogated as well. Crucial statements from neighboring cabins were not taken, along with statements from all of the passengers last seen with George, as well as crew members. It seems that an abundance of evidence and many important clues sailed away that evening with the cruise ship as opposed to being uncovered by the FBI who did not board the ship until two days later. George and I left together Newlyweds, in love and so excited about our trip. Now, I was flying home alone, a distraught and confused widow, and all of our lives would never be the same again.
Months and months pass by, and we still have no answers. Our future together along with all of our hopes and dreams had been shattered, and we all simply deserve to know the truth behind what happened to George. One by one, as each family member and friend learned of this tragic news, their hearts were breaking for George, for the life we would no longer share, for the children he would never have, and for our families and friends devastated by his untimely death.
My family and I miss George desperately, and are dedicated to unfolding the mystery surrounding his death. We seek answers that can only be found with vital information held by the cruise line. We continue to pray for Royal Caribbean to have the courage and heart to give us, his distraught family and friends, the information and answers we need in order to find peace and justice for George.
George’s caring and compassionate nature, his witty sense of humor and zest for life made him someone my family and friends loved to be around. To George, his friends from both home and college meant the world to him, and he considered them all to be his family. From the very beginning, we both knew we had found a great love in each other, and George quickly became a part of my very large and loving family. My parents considered George to be like another son to them, and my siblings considered George to be their new brother long before we were ever married. We have all suffered an immeasurable loss, and with each day that goes by without answers, the hole in our hearts grows exponentially bigger. We love you and miss you, George. We also pray for the entire Smith family as they are now my family too. We know that George’s death has also created a huge hole in your lives too. I will love George forever.
I continue to offer a $100,000 REWARD for new information directly leading to the arrest or conviction of the person or persons responsible for my husband George’s death. Someone knows the truth about my husband’s death. Will you help?