The Utah mom killed aboard a cruise ship was slain as a murder mystery dinner was taking place aboard the massive vessel, according to a report on Friday.
Kristy Manzanares, 39, was found lying in a pool of blood with a bashed-in skull near a cabin balcony — as the whodunit dinner theater played out just yards away, an eyewitness told the TV station WKBN.
“Some of the people that were in the murder mystery thought they were just playing a hoax on them with all the emergency calls,” said Tom Stites, passenger aboard the 3,500-passenger Emerald Princess.
Passengers who thought the show would be a fun way to spend Tuesday night were baffled by the macabre scene playing out before their eyes, the station reported.
“Because they were doing a murder mystery theater about a death on a cruise ship most people thought it was just part of the dramatic effect of what they were doing,” passenger Vic Simpson told Inside Edition.
A witness told federal authorities he saw Manzanares’s husband dragging the body by the ankles back to cabin D726, according to court papers filed Thursday.
Kenneth Manzanares, 39, said he killed his wife because “she would not stop laughing at me,” according to the court papers. He faces murder charges.
The couple was on board the ship celebrating their 18th anniversary with their three teen daughters.
More than 3,500 passengers were stranded for eight hours at the port of Juneau, AK., as the FBI — leading the probe because the death occurred in US waters– investigated.
Manzanares has no criminal history, according to online Utah court records, CBS News reported.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 10 in Juneau.