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Service Set for Man Missing From Cruise Ship

Posted June 25, 2007

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— There is no body and no real answers, but a Wayne County family will hold a memorial service Tuesday for a man who is missing from a cruise ship and is feared dead.

Kenneth "Brent" Smith was last seen aboard a cruise ship in the Bahamas one week ago. Many believe he fell overboard, but the FBI is still looking into the case and there has been no ruling.

Smith was vacationing with family aboard the Freedom of the Seas cruise ship when he was reported missing. The ship came about to look for Smith, but couldn't find him.

The U.S. Coast Guard joined in the search, but without luck.

In a phone interview Monday, the FBI, which doesn't investigate missing persons cases, said its agents were still poring over evidence just to make sure there had been no foul play.

“The FBI evidence response team processed the cabin that was secured once the victim was discovered missing aboard the ship,” Agent Henry Rodriguez said. The FBI also said agents had looked at copies of videotape taken from security cameras aboard the ship.

The ship returned to Miami on Sunday.
Passengers said the crew of the ship spent days trying to find Smith.
"They had every single employee on the ship search every cabin, every public room to see if they could find him," said cruise ship passenger Earnest Wallis.
The family placed an obituary in Monday’s Wilson Daily Times that said Smith died Monday, June 18, while vacationing with his family.

The family said it would celebrate celebrate his life tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the United In Christ Church on Patetown Road in Goldsboro.

38 Comments

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  • Iwasthere Jun 26, 2007

    Continuing - I was there! The ship searched along with other vessels in the area, with air support from the coast guard, for most of the day, when again the ship was cleared by the coast guard to continue it's voyage. The ship itself was searched by the entire crew in all areas including all cabins for nearly two days. In all, the ship was searched three times. When the ship finally arrived in San Juan Puerto Rico, FBI including search dogs boarded the vessel and did a search. Incidentally, Ken's room was secured almost immediately when there was suspicion of his disappearance. Also I would add that there is a straight and clear drop from his deck 9 stateroom into the ocean below. There is no possible way this man is hiding, or off the ship safely. Whether he was intoxicated or accidentally fell overboard or whether he even went overboard on another deck, or possibly pushed, is anybody's guess. All I can safely say is that he was not on the ship when it arrived in Purto Rico.

  • Iwasthere Jun 26, 2007

    Continuing - I was there! Ken was last seen in a bar with his brother and friends at about 1:35am, was sober according to the server whom I personally talked with. He returned to his room and the rumor was that he and his brother continued drinking. The story was that they fell asleep on their stateroom balcony and at 7:30am the brother woke and found his brother gone, but his shoes were at the lounge chair he slept on. Their stateroom was on deck 9, and the railings are not chest high as suggested but rather about 4 feet high. The captain began paging for Ken to call Guest Services shortly before 8:00am and the pages continued about every 45 min until after noon when we were told the coast guard had requested the ship retrace it's route to the point in time Ken was last seen in the bar area. Ken's image was shown in all of the staterooms and all over the ship continuously for four more days saying to call guest services if you see tis man. The ship retraced it's position ....

  • Iwasthere Jun 26, 2007

    I decided to write this response to the "chatter" because I just came back from the very Royal Caribbean cruise on which Kenneth Smith disappeared and I have many first hand pieces of information I would like to share. These are known facts that were published by the cruise line to all passengers on board so that we would know what was transpiring. In addition I talked personally with the last cruise ship employee to see Kenneth alive.
    Kenneth was last seen at 1:35am in a bar with his brother and several friends. The server said Ken did not appear intoxicated at the time. The server reported this to the FBI. Ken went back to his cabin supposedly with his brother and they continued drinking on their own. They both fell asleep on their balcony to their room on deck 9. At approximately 7:30am the brother woke up and found the deck chaisse empty but with Ken's shoes on the floor. At about 7:35am the first page for Ken to call Guest Services was made and the pages continued for 5 hours.

  • shine Jun 25, 2007

    Know All.. I dont agree with you most of the time - but you might be right on this one.

  • CarolinaGirl25 Jun 25, 2007

    Seems like there's alot of people going missing on cruise ships. Kinda makes me scared to even think about taking a cruise. I can only imagine what the family and friends are going thru. Its not an easy situation to deal with. I hope they find him soon. My prayers are with his family and friends.

  • www.CaryYardSales.com Jun 25, 2007

    People don't fall off decks of houses, but yet it happens. As for people looking for others that are missing...I was at a festival Saturday and the police got on the stage and announced an 18 month old boy missing..(twice)..you would think everyone would get off their lazy ___ and help look for the little boy (who was thank God found okay)......but nope, maybe a handful of people did....I was so amazed!

  • shine Jun 25, 2007

    CMC....... Your comments are understood. Although there are a great number of people that have shared sympathy and prayers for the family and friends, we unlike you did not know Brent personally. No one is "blaming" him for what happened because none of us (here) will ever really know.... if someone did or does until that person or persons comes forward it will be a mystery unless he is safe somewhere ( and alot of people just like myself would love to read about that ).. Remember this is an opinion board and also an opportunity to learn information and be able to "chat" with people that otherwise you might not meet or ever talk to.. I agree that there are things written that seem a little far out or course, most are empathetic, but remember even though we didn't know Brent we are all interested enough in keeping up with this sad situation. No one can feel the hurts of losing family and friends.

  • blablah Jun 25, 2007

    Now what gets me is that a memorial service is being held for this young man tomorrow. "The date of his death was listed as June 18 in an obituary placed in the Wilson Daily Times on Monday by the Seymour Funeral Home." This is too freaky. Why not wait until all means of the investigation have been exhausted? What if HE IS FOUND safe...alive. To know that you have been listed as dead and a memorial done would make you think everyone had given up. Or at least it would me. Here's the link (actually it's under STATE here at WRAL) http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/1531350/

  • Juliett Jun 25, 2007

    Brent will be remembered at a service Tuesday night at United in Christ Church in Goldsboro. My prayers and thoughts are with Brent and his loved ones.

  • CMC Jun 25, 2007

    I KNOW THAT PEOPLE ARE ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINIONS BUT I KNEW BRENT AND HIS FRIENDS. NONE OF THINK THAT HE WOULD DO ANYTHING LIKE THIS INTENTIONALLY. IT JUST REALLY BOTHERS ME TO SEE OTHER PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T KNOW HIM OR HIS FAMILY TO MAKE ASSUMPTIONS AS TO WHAT HAPPENED. WHAT IF IT WAS SOMEONE THAT YOU KNEW AND YOU ALSO KNEW THAT THIS PERSON WOULD HAVE NO REASON TO HARM THEMSELVES? THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE SITUATION WITH BRENT!

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