Final photo of beautiful mother murdered on cruise ship released by family

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The family of a Utah woman murdered aboard a Princess cruise ship last Tuesday released her final photo over the weekend.

Kristy Manzanares, 39, of St. George, Utah, went aboard The Emerald Princess from Seattle to Alaska in what she thought was going to be a family celebration of her 18th wedding anniversary. Yet, sometime around or shortly after a ‘Murder Mystery’ game aboard the ship, Kristy’s husband, 39-year-old Kenneth Manzanares, allegedly beat her so brutally that she lost her life.

According to court documents, the gruesome murder left blood all over the couple’s cabin room and even outside in the hallways. Witnesses saw Kenneth Manzanares walking around with bloody hands and a bloody shirt and pants on. Reportedly, he told one of the witnesses that his wife wouldn’t stop laughing at him. The suspect tried to jump overboard after the incident, but cruise ship staff stopped him and detained him until authorities arrived. He was later arrested and charged with his wife’s murder.

In the last photo taken of Kristy, she stood smiling happily while wearing a white tank top, army green pants, sandals, a watch, a bracelet, and her gold wedding ring. She placed her sunglasses on top of her head and placed one hand on top of her luggage handle as she gave the camera a warm grin.

Final photo of Kristy Manzanares [Photo: Family Handout]

Friends and family members described Kristy as a loving and devoted friend and mother who led by example.

“Kristy led by example with her giving heart and we are inspired by the legacy of kindness and optimism she has instilled in her children,” a statement from family members read.

“We are devastated over the loss of Kristy. She is the light of our lives — a devoted mother, daughter, sister and friend.”

Kristy, a realtor who worked at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty in St. George, had three daughters.