Death of Cruise Ship Singer Jackie Kastrinelis Remains a Mystery

Found dead in her cabin, popular singer remembered as "bubbly and friendly."

ByABC News
February 7, 2013, 6:40 AM

Feb. 7, 2013 — -- Authorities have ruled out foul play but are no closer to knowing what killed Jackie Kastrinelis, a cruise ship singer who was found dead in her cabin.

The body of the ship's popular lead singer, 24, was discovered aboard the Regent Seven Seas Voyager after the ship docked in Australia Sunday morning.

"Everyone's just completely shocked," said Ben Wilcox, a college friend said.

The University of Hartford graduate's cabin aboard the ship became a crime scene immediately after the discovery of her body. Investigators now appear to have ruled out foul play, and instead are reportedly focusing on a head injury she sustained during a rehearsal Saturday night, according to Cruise Law News.

After that injury, Kastrinelis was apparently treated with medication by a ship doctor before going to bed.

Her family is in Australia today to meet her body, which is undergoing an autopsy and toxicology tests. Meanwhile, students and faculty at the University of Hartford, where she once worked at the university TV station, are still digesting the news.

"She was energetic, bubbly and friendly on camera, but that was also the case off camera," Wilcox said.

The cruise line expressed its condolences to Kastrinelis' family.

"The Regent Seven Seas Cruises' family is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Jackie," the Miami-based luxury cruise line said in a statement. "Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and loved ones."

Kastrinelis started working as a performer on cruise ships in 2011, a year after graduating from college. Friends say she was an immediate hit.

"She stood out a little bit brighter ... but you can say that about anybody," Michael Morris, the director of music for the University of Hartford School of Theatre division, told ABC News. "But about Jackie it is absolutely true."