Husband arrested for cruise death

2013-02-17 08:43

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Wesley Chapel - A California man has been arrested in southwest Florida on an outstanding murder warrant in the death of his ex-wife, who went overboard from an Italian cruise ship seven years ago.

Lonnie Kocontes, 55, was taken into custody on Friday night by federal marshals and booked into the Pasco County Jail where he was being held without bail, authorities said.

He was charged with one count of special circumstances murder for financial gain, according to Farrah Emami, a spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Kocontes' ex-wife, Micki Kanesaki, plunged into the Mediterranean on 26 May 2006, off the Island Escape, which was sailing between Sicily and Naples, according to the FBI. Her body washed ashore the next day in Calabria in southwest Italy.

Kanesaki, 52, was sharing a cabin with Kocontes, her ex-husband. They divorced in 2002 after six years of marriage but lived together in their Mission Viejo, California, home until 2005, court records showed.

Transferred money

Kanesaki left the cabin around 01:00 to get a cup of tea, Andy Furlong, a spokesperson for ship owner Island Cruises, said at the time. Kocontes, a lawyer, reported her missing after he woke up and couldn't find her after a search, Furlong said.

Italian police boarded the ship, seized records and videotapes and took statements from the crew.

Prosecutors said on Saturday that Kocontes strangled Kaneski on board the ship and then threw her body overboard.

The arrest ended an investigation that started in 2008, when Kocontes began transferring more than $1 million from Kaneski's bank accounts into joint accounts he held with his new wife. That prompted the FBI to begin seizure efforts and a criminal probe, prosecutors said.

Kanesaki's mother, Setsuko Kanesaki, said her daughter was in good spirits before the cruise.

"I can't imagine what happened to her. There's no reason to believe it was a suicide," she told the Orange County Register in 2006.

It was unclear on Saturday whether Kocontes has retained an attorney. Plans were being made to extradite him to Southern California.

If convicted, Kocontes faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole and is eligible for the death penalty, Emami said.

- SAPA

Read more on:    us  |  italy  |  maritime
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

The Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 is as the name says...

From R2999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.