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Coast Guard suspends search for elderly couple missing from cruise ship

January 17, 2009 |  9:58 am

The Coast Guard today halted the search for an elderly couple reported missing from a Carnival Paradise cruise ship Friday.

A C-130 Coast Guard plane searched a large swath of the Pacific Ocean from Ensenada to Long Beach looking for the couple. Officials also broadcast notices to ship captains asking them to be on the lookout, according to a Coast Guard statement.

They were described as a 90-year-old man and a 79-year-old woman, both from Southern California. Authorities did not release their names.

The FBI was notified about the missing couple about noon Friday. They were unaccounted for when the cruise ship docked in Long Beach, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.


"They didn't disembark from the ship as scheduled," Eimiller said.

The Carnival ship Paradise left Long Beach on Monday for a five-day cruise to Mexico. The ship stopped at Catalina Island and Ensenada before making the return trip.

Eimiller confirmed that FBI investigators were on the scene combing the couple's cabin for possible evidence.

Carnival says the couple’s cabin door was double locked from the inside with a "do not disturb" sign on the handle. The couple’s personal belongings remained inside the cabin and the door leading from the cabin to the balcony was unlocked.

-- Andrew Blankstein and Shelby Grad