Lost At Sea: FBI Probes Overboard Case

Two hours after boarding a cruise ship in New York on Sunday, Mindy Jordan was overboard and lost at sea off the New Jersey coast.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line said the initial indication was that the slight 46-year-old nurse from Pine Hill fell as she tried to reach from one balcony to another on a windy night. On Wednesday the cruise line said that surveillance cameras had captured her fall and indicated that she was alone just prior to the incident.

Jordan's family fears, though, that her fall was not only tragic but also criminal. And the FBI is now trying to sort it out.

Jim Margolin, a spokesman for the FBI's New York office, said agents were in Bermuda on Wednesday to interview witnesses aboard The Norwegian Dawn as the cruise ship arrived there.

"Among the things we're going to try to determine is whether a crime occurred," Margolin said, adding that it was not clear how long it might take to determine that. He also said that if no one was charged in the matter, the agency might not make its findings public.

In its statement Wednesday, Norwegian Cruise Line said its surveillance system, with cameras in the interior hallways and on the outside of the ship, confirmed that Jordan was alone in her stateroom just prior to the fall.

It released a timeline indicating the sequence of events:

"Mindy Jordan and Jorge Caputo dined at the Garden CafDe with the couple they were traveling with and then returned to their assigned adjacent staterooms at approximately 7:28 p.m.

"At 7:36 p.m., Jorge left his stateroom and went to join his friends in their stateroom next door. From that moment on, Mindy is alone in her stateroom.

"At 7:53 p.m., surveillance cameras from the exterior of the ship capture Mindy falling overboard from her balcony, straight into the water. Shortly thereafter, an emergency call was made from the friends' stateroom and Jorge is seen exiting to seek help.

"At 7:57 p.m., a man overboard announcement is made and the ship's crew began lifesaving operations, including the launch of two rescue boats."

The Coast Guard responded and took over the search, but called it off on Tuesday. The ship continued on to Bermuda, arriving Wednesday.

Jordan's family has been asking authorities for a full investigation - rather than simply relying on the early word from the cruise line.

"Our interest is to understand what happened," said Jordan's brother, Steve Lynn, who traveled from his home in Kentucky to be with his and Jordan's mother, Louise Horton, in her Bordentown home.

Lynn said the FBI also interviewed his mother Tuesday night and took some possible evidence - including photos of bruises on his sister.

Horton has said that Jordan's relationship with boyfriend Jorge Caputo was abusive.Jordan, the mother of two teenagers, had been involved with Caputo for about 2 1/2 years and lived with him in the Philadelphia suburb of Pine Hill for most of that time, her brother said.

Lynn said relatives had encouraged Jordan to contact authorities about the way Caputo treated her. "She was reluctant to do that and did not," he said.

Caputo remained on the cruise ship and was not available for comment. He has not been charged with any crime.

Jordan's family members say it was Caputo who called Horton to tell her that Jordan was missing. They said the call came about 15 hours after she went overboard.

"For this to happen on Mother's Day is even more tragic," Lynn said Wednesday.