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Tuesday, July 16, 2024


July 29, 2002 – Autopsy results are expected to be released Tuesday as investigators try to figure out how a man died on July 20 after struggling with security officers aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Adventure of the Seas.
The autopsy was done last week on O'Neil Persaud, 31, described by police as a native of Guyana who was carrying a Canadian passport when he died. But police have not yet stated the cause of death, saying investigators are still working on the case.
According to cruise ship officials, Persaud died after being in a fight with ship's security personnel who discovered him aboard the vessel illegally. Police said they were told that the security officers had placed Persaud in a holding cell, but he became violent and they had to restrain him.
A medical officer tranquilized Persaud during the struggle, and he died sometime thereafter, Sgt. Annette Raimer, police spokeswoman, said. Local detectives, FBI agents and cruise line investigators began looking into the death immediately, according to Royal Caribbean International spokeswoman Lynn Martenstein.
Raimer said on Monday that the autopsy results would be available Tuesday. Detectives are still working on the case, which so far has been classified only as a "DOA" — dead on arrival, she said.
Investigators believe Persaud was vacationing on Sint Maarten when, for unknown reasons, he boarded the ship on July 19 with a man and woman who were taking a cruise, Raimer said. The ship's last port of call before reaching St. Thomas was Sint Maarten.
Police have video surveillance tapes of Persaud boarding the Adventure of the Seas with the couple, Raimer said, but it is not known how he eluded security to remain on board when the ship left the port. The initial police accounts of Persaud's death described him as a stowaway.
It was at about noon on the next day that police on St. Thomas were called to respond to a death aboard the ship, according to police records.
There were bruises on Persaud's face and body, Deputy Police Chief Theodore Carty said, but initial reports from the ship's personnel were that Persaud was beating himself and may have tried to commit suicide.
Acquaintances of Persaud have sent e-mails to the Source describing Persaud as a businessman with Canadian citizenship. They said he would have no reason to stow away aboard the ship and questioned the information initially published concerning the manner of his death.

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