Thursday, June 13

Family of missing cruise ship passenger from Port St. Lucie still waiting for answers

The family of a missing Port St. Lucie man who disappeared from a Carnival cruise ship on Monday is speaking with WPTV a day after the U.S. Coast Guard suspended their search.

“She pointed him out on TV and was like, ‘That’s my dad,'” Addison Thomas told WPTV while holding her 3-year-old daughter.

It’s been five days since Thomas’ two kids have heard from their dad, Kevin McGrath, 26, of Port St Lucie.

“It just hurts because it’s like, I didn’t have my dad much growing up, and I want her to have that experience when she gets in school,” Thomas said. “I’m trying not to get too emotional about it.”

McGrath’s family said he was on the Carnival Conquest cruise ship that left Miami on Friday, stopped in the Bahamas over the weekend and returned to Miami on Monday.

“My family was supposed to meet for breakfast at 7:30 on the cruise ship, 7:30 in the morning,” Danielle McGrath, Kevin’s sister, told WPTV.

She said that’s when the family first noticed Kevin was missing.

“The last time his card was used was around 3:30 in the morning, like to enter the room,” Danielle said. “So anytime between then and breakfast time, he disappeared somewhere, and there’s no trace of him.”

Danielle told WPTV he left behind all of his belongings on the ship, including his IDs and passport.

“It was like he didn’t pack up any of his belongings or anything like that,” Danielle said.

In a statement released by the U.S. Coast Guard, they said, “Crews searched nearly 3,300 square nautical miles, a combined crew total of over 80 hours” before they suspended the search on Thursday.

In a statement released Thursday, the cruise line said “Our investigation continues, including multiple reviews of closed circuit video footage.”

“The guest was not detected by surveillance systems, including U.S. Customs and Border Patrol during the debarkation process,” a Carnival spokesperson said in part in a statement sent to NBC 6 in Miami. “Miami-Dade Police eventually cleared the ship to sail. The Carnival Care Team is supporting the guest’s family.”

So, for now, Kevin’s family is left with more questions than answers.

“The last time I saw him, he was in good spirits, packing for the cruise,” Danielle McGrath said. “Today is the fifth day, and it just keeps making me even more and more and more miserable that we don’t even know if he’s even OK. Is my brother OK, is he alive?”

“Praying he’s alive. Praying for the best, the best outcome,” Thomas said. “I’m not trying to think of the worst, but then you have to have those what-ifs in your mind, and I don’t want to think of those what-ifs.”

The Miami-Dade Police Department is the lead agency investigating the case.

If you have information that could help, contact Detective M. Ritch Jr. at (305)-715-3300.

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