Drastic step in mystery cruise ship death
MYSTERY stills surrounds the death of a talented cruise singer - Jackie Kastrinelis - whose body was discovered inside a ship's cabin just off of Darwin five years ago.
In a desperate new bid for answers into the unexplained death, the US citizen's parents will exhume her body.
According to The Australian, Kathy and Mike Kastrinelis of Massachusetts, believe that Northern Territory authorities did not properly investigate the death of their daughter.
"This is really difficult for our family but we have to make sure justice is done for Jackie," Ms Kastrinelis told The Australian.
"The investigation into her death was flawed from the start and we are at a loss as to why they did not open an inquest."
Jackie died unexpectedly on the Seven Seas Voyager cruise ship in February, 2013. She was a talented 24-year-old singer who had been touring the world for years as a musician - doing the job she loved and seeing the world.
One of those who worked with her said she was "ray of sunshine, a life force and a beautiful person."
Officially, the finding was that Jackie had died of the rare "sudden unexplained death syndrome" while she was sleeping.
Shortly after her death, Cruise Law News reported that she was understood to have suffered a head injury during rehearsals shortly before she died and was given medication by a ship doctor.
However, her parents were convinced their 24-year-old daughter was murdered.
However, in 2017 the Northern Territory coroner's office announced it would consider opening an inquest after a damning report in theThe Weekend Australian Magazine.
The article highlighted apparent errors and cover ups by police and forensic experts in relation to the singer's death.
It stated a police report into her death said that authorities did not collect enough DNA samples aboard the ship, meaning they had little chance to find out more about the unknown male DNA on Jackie's underpants.
The talented musician was the cruise's main singer and was seen laughing with colleagues on the night of her death.
She is understood to have gone back to her cabin at 1:40am.
However, later that morning, she was discovered but there were so signs of physical violence on her body.
An autopsy could not determine her cause of death.
Her former partner - Ukrainian saxophonist called Roman - was the last person to see her alive.
At first, he failed to tell police that he had been in a relationship with her, or that he was upset when she dumped him four months earlier. He told them he was "a little jealous" to see her interacting with another man on the night she died.
A crew member called Daniel told police he had consensual sex with Ms Kastrinelis 30 hours before her death, and an Estonian engineer reported saying goodnight to her shortly before 1am.
Police did not investigate apparent inconsistencies in their accounts, however, with door swipe records showing times that did not match.
Records showed an entry to Jaanus' cabin at 12:50am, contrary to his own report and Roman's claim he saw the pair together at 1:40am.
Ms Kastrinelis entered her own room at 1:41am, and records show Roman leaving and entering his room at 1.50am, 2.28am and 3.13am.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises HQ also released a statement on her death.
It said they were "deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own" and added "our hearts and prayers go out to the family and loved ones."
Lori Verderame, who worked alongside Kastrinelis, told the Hartford Courant: "She made a very big impression on everyone. She won't be forgotten."