Missing cruise ship worker’s parents seek answers

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The parents of a Disney Cruise Line employee who disappeared during a voyage off Mexico last week met with investigators on Sunday seeking answers to their daughter’s fate after the ship returned to its home port in Los Angeles.

The employee, identified as Rebecca Coriam, 24, from Chester, England, was last seen aboard the Disney Wonder early last Tuesday as the 1,000-foot ocean liner was cruising off Cabo San Lucas en route to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

She was known to have placed a phone call to a friend around that time but never reported to work that day. She was employed as a youth activities counselor.

Her anguished parents met the vessel as it arrived in port from its seven-day voyage and spoke privately with investigators and Disney representatives, company spokeswoman Christie Erwin Donnan told Reuters.

“We just don’t know what happened … that’s the worst. We’ve got to find out what happened,” Coriam’s mother, Ann, told local television station KABC-TV as she and her husband, Michael, waited for the ship to dock.

“We didn’t know if Rebecca had fallen overboard or what, just that the ship had been thoroughly searched,” she added.

“It’s just really painful,” the father said on KABC. “The thought of not seeing her again … I don’t know.”

The Royal Bahamas Police Force is taking the lead in the investigation because the ship is a Bahamian-flagged vessel, with help from the Mexican Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard.

“We wish to advise that the investigation is still ongoing,” the Bahamian police said in a brief statement. “Disney is cooperating in this investigation.”

A Coast Guard duty officer at the port of Los Angeles, Lieutenant Sean Arumae, told Reuters that investigators had searched the entire ship at least twice to no avail since Coriam went missing.

“They’re looking into the last phone call she made to see if that provides any leads,” he said.

Arumae said he did not believe that foul play was suspected but that nothing had been ruled out.

Disney Cruise Line officials issued a statement expressing their concern and saying the company was doing everything possible to find its employee.

“Rebecca’s disappearance has been difficult for everyone at Disney Cruise Line,” the statement said. “We’ve been in close contact with the Coriam family, and we’re assisting them in any way we can.”

The 10-deck, 83,000-ton Disney Wonder, designed to accommodate up to 2,700 passengers and a crew of about 950, disembarked later on Sunday on its next scheduled Mexican cruise, Erwin Donnan said.

(Writing and reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by David Bailey and Peter Bohan)

Missing cruise ship worker’s parents seek answers