Body of woman who went missing on a cruise four months ago is found in ship’s air vent

A woman who vanished while on a cruise four months ago has been found dead in an air vent on the ship she had been holidaying on.

German pensioner Imelda Bechstein, 74, was on her way back from Sardinia, Italy, with husband Ernst to their home in Munich, Germany, after they had spent a week on the sunny Italian island to escape the gloomy German autumn weather in October.

Mr Bechstein went to sleep on a sun lounger next to his wife but woke up to discover her missing without a trace.

Now, four moths later, her body has been found inside a maintenance shaft after she apparently wandered into the engine room and toppled over.

Shocked Mr Bechstein admitted his wife could sometimes become disorientated, but said that she might still be alive if the crew had carried out a proper search when he first reported her missing.

Mr Bechstein said: “She should not have been able to enter the engine room area, it should have been curtained off.”

Discovery: Imelda Bechstein's was found in an air vent on the ferry (CEN)
Discovery: Imelda Bechstein’s was found in an air vent on the ferry (CEN)

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The pensioner looked all over the ‘Sharden’ ferry, which can carry up to 2,908 passengers and 850 cars, but could not locate his wife.

The captain, who was not named in local media, had then given the order to search the entire ship but they could not locate Imelda.

For weeks, people wondered if Imelda might have fallen overboard or if she might have been the victim of a crime.

Autopsy results showed that Imelda had died the night after she vanished and no other signs of violence were found on the body other than injuries from falling down the shaft.

Her body has not yet been released as investigations are currently being carried out against the captain and some others for negligent killing.

Mr Bechstein added: “I want to be able to at least bury my wife. She should finally find her last resting place.”

Top pic: CEN