HARTFORD, Conn. » FBI officials in Connecticut have told relatives of a man who disappeared during his honeymoon cruise in 2005 that they have ended their investigation of the case, the family’s lawyer said Thursday.
Attorney Michael Jones said FBI agents assigned to Connecticut met with him and the parents of George Smith IV on Tuesday to tell them the agency was closing the case. Jones said that doesn’t mean no one else is investigating, but he declined to elaborate.
FBI officials didn’t return phone and email messages from The Associated Press on Thursday. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Haven said he had no information about the investigation ending.
The 26-year-old Greenwich man was aboard a Royal Caribbean ship when he vanished somewhere between Greece and Turkey on July 5, 2005, after an apparent night of drinking. His body was never found.
Smith’s widow, Jennifer Hagel Smith, reached a nearly $1.1 million settlement with Royal Caribbean in 2006. Smith’s parents, George Smith III and his wife, Maureen, criticized the settlement as inadequate.
A phone message was left Thursday at a listing for George Smith III in Greenwich.
In a Facebook posting Wednesday, Smith’s family said the FBI told them there wasn’t enough evidence to prove George Smith IV was murdered and that his death may have been an accident.
"We are outraged and disgusted by this justice system," the Facebook posting said. "If anything positive came out of this meeting it’s that we are free to attempt to move George’s investigation to another jurisdiction, such as New York."
The family also said: "To listen to the Connecticut FBI tell us that George may have died as a result of an accident was almost too much to bear."
Hagel Smith has said her husband’s relatives refuse to acknowledge the possibility that George Smith IV’s intoxication from alcohol and prescription drugs may have been a factor in an accidental death. She has said they instead believe Smith was a victim of foul play, despite a lack of evidence.