Cruise Ship Wreck: Two More Bodies Found

PHOTO: Sara Kim HeilPlayPier Paolo Cito/AP Photo
WATCH New Body Found in Ship Wreckage

The bodies of two women were recovered today from the half-submerged cruise ship as the children of a Minnesota couple prayed on the island for their elderly parents who disappeared when the ship ran aground.

The women's bodies were discovered near the ship's internet cafe. They were not immediately identified, but they brought the death toll in the cruise ship to 15. Another 17 people are still missing.

Among the missing are Jerry and Barbara Heil of White Bear Lake, Minn., who had saved up to travel following their retirement and had considered their excursion to Italy and the cruise the trip of a lifetime.

Their somber looking daughter, Sara Heil, went to San Pietro Apostolo church to pray today on the island of Giglio where the Costa Concordia gashed open its side on a reef and keeled over Jan. 13. Jerry and Barbara Heil were devout Catholics who were deeply involved in their church in Minnesota.

Sara Heil and her brother John arrived on the island this weekend. They met with Italian officials and left flowers in the water for their parents.

Cruise Ship Search Finds Two Bodies

The Heils are the only Americans who are still unaccounted for amongst the 4,200 passengers who were onboard the liner when it crashed.

The captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, remains under house arrest as Italian authorities investigate and determine whether to charge him criminally.

Franco Gabrielli, head of operations of the Civil Protection Authority, the agency in charge of the search, said the ship has stopped shifting, which had prompted the searches to be suspended several times.

"Searching underwater inside the ship is getting increasingly more difficult, but can continue," said Gabrielli. "The ship is now stable and should not slip further." He said divers are also trying to recoup personal belongings from the ship.

Searchers planned to blast another hole in the interior of the ship to allow divers better access to complete their search.

In addition, authorities have agreed to allow operations to begin to drain the ship of his fuel.

Salvage barges were expected to move into the port today. Large floating platforms for support rather than actual ships will pump out the fuel.

ABC News' Lama Hasan, Clark Bentson, and Phoebe Natanson contributed to this report.