A Carnival Dream employee discovered a dead newborn baby aboard the cruise ship, according to a news release by Carnival Cruise Line early Saturday. The baby was found in a guest cabin while the ship was docked in St. Maarten on Wednesday. The discovery was reported to the authorities, and the 20-year-old mother was detained by Dutch authorities for questioning, according to FBI spokesperson Dave Couvertier. The agent also stated that the ship has since returned to its Florida port of origin, Port Canaveral, but that the mother, who is an American passenger, did not return to the United States.
The FBI’s evidence response team was called to the vessel, and has investigated two guest cabins and interviewed numerous passengers and crew members, according to an email from the agency to the Associated Press. In the email, Couvertier also wrote, “no one has been charged. We are still working on getting facts and gathering any available evidence. As a result, no information has been released regarding any suspect at this time.”
St. Maarten officials reported Sunday that an autopsy has determined that the newborn died while the cruise liner was at sea, between Miami and St. Thomas, according to the Island Time newspaper. The Island Time also reported that the mother has made claims to the authorities that she was unaware of her pregnancy, and shocked by the birth of the child.
According to CNN, the FBI is coordinating with Dutch authorities, and that the mother is expected to return to the United States within the next 24 hours.