Neighbors, close family friends react to Utah man accused of murdering wife on cruise
A Utah man is now facing a federal murder charge — accused of killing his wife, 39-year-old Kristy Manzanares, on a cruise ship traveling in Alaska. Kenneth Ray Manzanares, of Santa Clara, Utah, made his initial appearance in federal court Thursday.
According to a criminal complaint, on July 25, Emerald Princess Security and Medical personnel responded to an incident inside of cabin D726 on the cruise ship. The complaint said, inside they found the victim with a severe head wound and blood spread throughout the room on multiple surfaces. Manzanares was pronounced dead by medical personnel at around 9:20 p.m.
Prior to security officers arriving inside the room, witnesses entered the cabin. The court documents show a witness saw Kenneth with blood on his hands and clothing, and when he was asked what had happened, he replied, “She would not stop laughing at me.” That same witness also saw Kenneth grab Kristy’s body toward the balcony in the cabin.
A family member who spoke with CBS affiliate KUTV, in Salt Lake City, said she never saw any signs of violence between the couple. She said everyone knew Kristy well, as a good friend and as a successful realtor. Kenneth and Kristy were parents to three children.
“She’s one of the sweetest, sweetest people you’d ever meet in your life,” the family member, who wished to remain anonymous, told KUTV.
Michael Cain lives in the neighborhood near the Manzanares family.
“They got along,” Cain told KUTV. “They were well liked and this is totally out of character.”
Neil Gibbs, a coworker of Kristy’s, also told KUTV she was always able to balance her career and family.
“She was able to pull it off,” Gibbs said. “She worked and made time for her clients, but her children were always taken care of, she’d bring them in sometimes. It was great. She was wonderful at handling both her job and taking care of the three girls.”
CBS News reports Kenneth Manzanares is due back in court August 10.
If you or someone you know is needing help or support, there are resources available locally and nationally.
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)
- In Alaska: Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis is based in Anchorage. Their 24-hour crisis line is 907-272-0100.
- You can also find more information through the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault