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She was on her first cruise — a gift from her husband. She still hasn’t been found

By Chabeli Herrera • Jan 24, 2018 at 10:00 PM

MIAMI — The woman who fell overboard into the Gulf of Mexico from a Carnival ship Sunday night has been identified by her family as 44-year-old Juwanna Brooks, according to a report from KLFY, a CBS news affiliate station in Louisiana.

The woman’s mother, Marilyn Winfrey, told the station that Carnival contacted her about her daughter’s fall.

The Doral, Fla.-based cruise line confirmed Wednesday that Mexican authorities are still conducting search and rescue operations for Brooks, who fell from the Carnival Triumph while it was en route from New Orleans to Mexico.

Winfrey said the last time she spoke to her daughter was via text message at dinner time the night of the fall. Brooks, of Lafayette, La., had also sent her mother a video of her and her husband shortly after they boarded the ship.

The voyage was a Christmas present from Brooks’ husband and the woman’s first cruise, Winfrey told KLFY. Triumph was on the second day of a five-day cruise when Brooks was “seen going overboard,” Carnival said.

Winfrey told the station the circumstances of the fall have not yet been determined and multiple law enforcement agencies are involved in the ongoing investigation. Brooks is a mother and grandmother, Winfrey told KLFY.

“I did hear rumors that she possibly jumped, but there’s no way she could, she’s only 5 foot 1. There’s a lot of rumors going around and we don’t know, it’s still under investigation by the FBI,” Winfrey told KLFY. “I just want to believe that they’re going to find something. I just want to be able to put her to rest.”

Brooks’ fall is the second major incident on a Carnival ship in the last week.

On Friday, a woman died after falling from the 14th floor balcony in her cabin on the Carnival Elation to the 11th deck. The name of the victim and the circumstances of the fall have not yet been released.

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©2018 Miami Herald

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