George A. Smith IV, aged 26 years old, our beloved son and brother, went missing from the Royal Caribbean “Brilliance of the Seas” on July 5, 2005 between Greece and Turkey. In the days following his disappearance, despite numerous desperate requests, we were informed by Royal Caribbean that they had “no news” regarding George’s disappearance with a ‘business as usual’ attitude. Royal Caribbean never even informed us that the Turkish authorities were conducting a criminal investigation into George’s disappearance. They also failed to tell us that there were suspicious circumstances surrounding his disappearance, such as George Allen Smith IV
eyewitness complaints of fighting in his cabin and blood in his cabin and on a metal overhang below his balcony.
Royal Caribbean failed to lock down the cruise ship in Kusadasi, Turkey, the next port of call after George’s disappearance. Passengers and crew members were free to disembark as usual, potentially taking crucial evidence off of the cruise ship with them. The Turkish authorities investigated the crime onboard for approximately two hours after Royal Caribbean crew members had already contaminated the crime scene.
The Turkish police were rushed off the boat so that the cruise ship could make the next port of call on schedule. The “Brilliance of the Seas” sailed off into the sunset with the murderers on board, therefore, jeopardizing the safety of all the other passengers on board.
George’s disappearance prompted a Congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2005 on cruise safety. It has also received international media coverage.
Royal Caribbean’s response to the media coverage has been to hire a scandal management attorney, to consistently lie about their actions and inactions and to victimize and scandalize George and our family to draw attention away from Royal Caribbean’s misdeeds.
The Connecticut Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice continue to actively investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding George’s disappearance. According to media reports,
a grand jury has been convened in Connecticut to search for answers into who murdered George.
George’s life will not be taken in vain, as his death has already called attention to the dire need for reform in the under-regulated cruise industry