Mystery of Missing Royal Caribbean Passenger Amy Bradley Returns to the News

The mysterious case of cruise passenger Amy Lynn Bradley is again in the news. Amy was traveling with her brother and parents when she disappeared 12 years ago while aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Rhapsody of the Seas. The ship had left Oranjestad, Aruba, and was sailing to Curaçao, in the Netherlands Antilles. On March 24, 1998, at age 23, Amy vanished. The Bradley family was highly critical of Royal Caribbean who they faulted for the delay in responding to incident and for what they felt was insensitivity toward their plight. Like most disappearances at sea, the cruise line's "investigation" seemed designed to protect the cruise line's image and legal interests. The FBI investigation, as usual, went no where. Amy's disappearance in 1998 occurred 6 to 7 years before the highly publicized cases of Merrian Carver in 2004 and George Smith IV in 2005, before the formation of the International Cruise Victims organization, and before five Congressional hearings which led to the passage of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act of 2010. The Bradleys were fighting the cruise line largely alone. The International Cruise Victims organization contains a story about Amy's disappearance. The Bradley family's website is here. CNN Justice is now raising the issue whether fragments of a jaw bone found in Aruba, reportedly that of a Caucasian, may possibly be Amy's. You may recall that there was a great deal of speculation that the jaw bone may have been connected to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Forensic testing concluded that it was not. By my reading, the CNN article contains no information providing a reasonable basis to connect this evidence to Amy's disappearance 12 years ago. The cruise ship had left Aruba and was closer to Curaçao when the family realized that Amy was missing. So it seems like a stretch to believe that evidence washing ashore in Aruba is tied to this mystery. Hopefully, additional forensic testing will provide a clue. The story brings the public's attention to this unsolved cruise passenger disappearance and the parent's continuing search for answers to what happened to their daughter during this ill fated Caribbean cruise. Gather covered this sad story today, and summed up the point exactly: "It is a terrible thing that the families of Natalee Holloway and Amy Lynn Bradley have had to endure these past many years. It is incredibly sad that there wasn't more urgency in these cases and that they have never been solved. It has to be hell on the families to not have any idea what happened to their daughters. The not knowing can be quite miserable."

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