In the world of maritime law, there are always new developments. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a detail emerges to turn your assumptions on their head. Last week, we reported on a suspicious incident involving a family from Dublin. While cruising the Mediterranean on the MSC Magnifica, wife and mom of two, Xing Lei Li, went missing. Her husband, Daniel Belling, was arrested while trying to board a plane back to Dublin with their children, once the cruise was over.
He justified her disappearance, saying that she was not interested in continuing the family vacation, and left of her own accord. However, recent developments in the case reveal that there is more to this story than an over-burdened mother abandoning her young family.
This week, cruise ship security records indicate that Ms. Xing never used her key card to leave the ship. The security procedures in place require passengers to use their key cards whenever disembarking and returning to the ship. This allows the cruise to track potential missing persons, as in this case, and to know that passengers were not left behind at a previous port.
Additionally, authorities are conducting a search for a missing bag that also belonged to Ms. Xing. The suitcase, a large orange and gray roller bag, was seen with Ms. Xing at various points on the trip, before her disappearance. Now, police are beginning to wonder if Ms. Xing and her suitcase were thrown overboard together?
While investigations continue, Mr. Belling will remain in Italian prison. We will continue to follow this case as it develops.
In the wake of this incident, we are left evaluating all potential possibilities. With further probing, we anticipate the cruise ship security footage may turn up new, interesting information. However, in the mean time, we can only speculate.
If Mr. Belling did murder his wife, was it planned? And, if so, what motivated the attack? These latest developments make it increasingly unlikely that Ms. Xing left the ship of her own accord. But what could have led to her alleged murder? Only time will tell.
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Unfortunately, cruise ship disappearances happen more often than anyone would like. As a maritime law firm, we are well aware of the many kinds of accidents that can take place aboard a cruise. And while most voyages go off without a hitch, it’s important to remember that tragedy can strike, even when you’re on vacation.
If you or someone you love has been injured aboard a cruise, it can be overwhelming to address your legal situation. Maritime law can be complex for even the most successful individuals. As a result, you deserve to be represented by a maritime lawyer who you can trust.