December 31, 2008 in Nation/World

Mexico calls off search for woman

Associated Press

MIAMI – Mexican authorities have suspended their search for a Florida woman who apparently fell from a ship balcony during a Christmas week cruise.

The woman’s family believes she might have jumped overboard, but the FBI is still investigating whether someone pushed her.

The Mexican Navy said late Monday it had ended its search for Jennifer Ellis Seitz, a Florida journalist, who was reported missing by her husband about eight hours after a surveillance camera captured a person falling overboard on Christmas night. The U.S. Coast Guard also called off its search Monday.

The 36-year-old woman’s family said she had “previous emotional issues,” but they said there were no outward signs of distress while on the seven-night cruise from Miami.

Seitz’s mother joined her daughter and son-in-law on the cruise.

“Jennifer was in a very happy and uplifted mood both before and during the cruise,” the Ellis family said in the statement. “She was excited about starting a new job and her future career with a local newspaper. She and her husband had been talking about starting their family.”

Seitz and her husband, Raymond, were celebrating their one-year anniversary on the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship.

The ship docked Sunday in Miami. Norwegian Cruise Line said it was cooperating with the FBI.

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