How did Kenneth Manzanares die? Utah man who murdered wife on cruise ship found dead in cell

Kenneth Manzanares, who battered his wife to death in a cruise ship in front of his kids and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, was found dead

                            How did Kenneth Manzanares die? Utah man who murdered wife on cruise ship found dead in cell
Kristy's husband Kenneth Manzanares was sentenced to 30 years in prison for murdering his wife on a cruise ship in Southeast Alaska (Facebook)

JUNEAU, ALAKSA: Kenneth Manzanares, a Utah man who beat his wife to death during a family cruise to Alaska in 2017 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison on June 4 this year was found dead in an Alaska jail this week, the state corrections department said on Sunday, July 19. 

Manzanares, 43, had pled guilty to the second-degree murder of his wife, Kristy Manzanares, in February 2020. Kenneth, Kristy, their three kids and other members of Kristy's extended family were onboard the Emerald Princess cruise ship for a family holiday on July 25, 2017. Kristy and her husband apparently got into an altercation over his conduct, which led to the murder.


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Kristy had informed Kenneth during the argument that she wanted a divorce and that he should get off the ship in Juneau and return to Utah. Kenneth then instructed his children to go to a neighboring cabin and they heard their mother crying just seconds afterward, according to prosecutors. When the kids tried to enter into the room, their father told them, "don't come in here." They then walked to a nearby balcony, where they observed their father stomping on their mother's head with clenched fists.

Prior to security officers arriving in the cabin, Kristy's two brothers and father arrived on scene. One of the brothers saw Kenneth Manzanares drag Kristy’s body toward the balcony and he grabbed her ankles pulling her back into the cabin. Soon after, at approximately 9:00 pm, ship security and medical personnel arrived and attempted to perform life saving measures on Kristy but were unsuccessful. 

How did Kenneth Manzanares die?

The Alaska Department of Corrections said Manzanares, 43, was found unconscious in his cell at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau at 7 am, Wednesday and could not be revived. Attempts to save his life were made, but he was subsequently pronounced dead, the Daily Mail reported. According to the agency, Manzanares is the seventh person to die in its custody this year. All fatalities are investigated by Alaska State Troopers and the state medical examiner's office.

Information 'related to an inmate's medical condition is confidential,' said Betsy Holley, a department spokesman, via email on Friday, July 16. However, Manzanares' death was not suspected of being the result of foul play, according to the prison's department. The medical problems of detainees, according to department spokesperson Betsy Holley, are kept private. She said Manzanares was being kept at the state prison until he was moved to a federal institution.

The fatality was not linked to Covid-19, according to the department. He was in the process of being transferred to a federal institution. According to a state trooper spokeswoman, a preliminary inquiry uncovered no unusual circumstances, but the cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner.