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Lawyer: FBI ends probe of Connecticut man’s disappearance

January 9, 2015

HARTFORD, Connecticut (AP) — FBI officials have told relatives of a man who disappeared during his honeymoon cruise in 2005 that they have ended their investigation of the case, the family’s lawyer said Thursday.

Attorney Michael Jones said FBI agents assigned to Connecticut met with him and the parents of George Smith IV on Tuesday to tell them the agency was closing the case. Jones said that doesn’t mean no one else is investigating, but he declined to elaborate.

FBI officials didn’t return phone and email messages from The Associated Press on Thursday. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said he had no information about the investigation ending.

The 26-year-old man was aboard a Royal Caribbean ship when he vanished somewhere between Greece and Turkey on July 5, 2005, after an apparent night of drinking. His body was never found.

Smith’s widow, Jennifer Hagel Smith, reached a nearly $1.1 million settlement with Royal Caribbean in 2006. Smith’s parents, George Smith III and his wife, Maureen, criticized the settlement as inadequate.

A phone message was left Thursday at a listing for George Smith III in Greenwich.

In a Facebook posting Wednesday, Smith’s family said the FBI told them there wasn’t enough evidence to prove George Smith IV was murdered and that his death may have been an accident.

Hagel Smith has said her husband’s relatives refuse to acknowledge the possibility that George Smith IV’s intoxication from alcohol and prescription drugs may have been a factor in an accidental death. She has said they instead believe Smith was a victim of foul play, despite a lack of evidence.

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