Man arrested for cruise ship murder seven years after the fact
A man has been arrested for strangling his ex-wife onboard a Mediterranean cruise after seven years.
A man from California has been arrested in Florida for the murder of his ex-wife, whom he allegedly threw overboard during an Italian cruise seven years ago.
Lonnie Kocontes, 55, was remanded into custody by federal marshals and is now being held without bail, on a charge of ‘special circumstance murder for financial gain”, the Associated Press reports.
The cruise industry was rocked in 2006 when his ex-wife Micki Kanesaki fell into the Mediterranean from the Island Escape, which was sailing along the coast of Italy.
She had been sharing a cabin with Kocontes despite the pair divorcing in 2002 and continuing to live together until 2004.
She was last seen alive at approximately 11pm on May 25th, and was not seen again until her body washed up on the shore at Calabria. At the time, Kocontes said he had awoken in the middle of the night to find her missing from the room, prompting a full search of the vessel.
According to prosecutors, Kocontes, a lawyer, strangled Kanesaki to death and then threw her overboard.
FBI investigators launched a new criminal probe in 2008 after new evidence came to light alleging that Kocontes had transferred more than $1 million of his ex-wife’s money into joint accounts held with his new wife.