Honeymoon From Hell: Husband Vanishes at Sea

Eight days into George and Jennifer Smith's dream honeymoon cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean ship Brilliance of the Seas, something went terribly wrong. Passengers two floors below the Smiths' cabin woke up on the morning of July 5 and noticed a metal overhang above a lifeboat covered with blood.

Somehow, George Smith had gone overboard and was lost at sea. Since he went missing, his distraught family -- parents George and Maureen, and sister, Bree -- have been highly critical of how the cruise line responded to George's disappearance.

"My brother is dead and missing and Royal Caribbean felt that they didn't need to tell us about what happened on that boat," said his sister, Bree. "They never told me that there were suspicious circumstances and they never told me about blood on the overhang."

The Smiths say the cruise line also failed to tell them about other evidence that they feel points to foul play, such as some blood that was also found in George's cabin.

The Smiths believe, quite simply, that George was murdered.

Heavy Drinking

The last people known to see George Smith alive were four young men also on the ship, and much speculation has centered on 20-year-old Rusty Kofman.

Although his lawyers say he is "the leading target" in the Smith investigation, he has not been charged with any crimes. Kofman has not spoken publicly about the events of the night George Smith disappeared, but his attorneys, Albert Dayan and Tony Mirvis, spoke exclusively to "Primetime" about their client's version of events.

Dayan said that Kofman first met George and Jennifer Smith on the night of July 4 at the ship's casino, and they all sat down together to have drinks.

"At the time, when Rusty comes up to this disco, this lounge, he observes Mr. Smith, as he describes, bombed, extremely intoxicated -- him and Mrs. Smith -- at that time," Dayan said.

According to Dayan, Kofman also observed Jennifer Smith "being flirtatious and actually draping herself over another man. ... The manager of the casino blatantly flirts with her, and in the presence of Mr. Smith."

Dayan says his client then observed George Smith have words with his wife -- which led to a confrontation.

"In fact, my client observes that she kicks him in the groin and she starts walking away with an attitude. And I use the word 'attitude' describing exactly the words Rusty used," Dayan told "Primetime."

Others at the bar recall Jennifer becoming intoxicated and flirtatious that night but do not recall the casino manager's role in any of this.

Last week, Jennifer Smith spoke about that night on "Oprah."

"I remember being at the casino, I remember being around George," Jennifer said on the show. "I remember very vaguely leaving the casino area to go to this revolving bar and then I remember nothing. We must have been drinking heavily. I don't remember anything."

What Happened Next Door?

Other passengers have confirmed the honeymooners were fighting and that Jennifer drunkenly stormed out of the bar. According to several accounts, George was left alone with Kofman and his friends drinking shots of a potent liquor called absinthe.

By the time the bar closed, Kofman's lawyer says George was so intoxicated, he couldn't make it back to his room, so Kofman and the other three men helped him back to his cabin.

"But when they arrive at George's cabin, his wife wasn't there, so Rusty says they helped George search for her," Dayan said.

With no luck finding her, Dayan said Kofman and the others took George back to his room.

A neighbor in the next cabin, Clete Hyman, said he heard what sounded like a party happening in the Smiths' room.

"At approximately 4:05 in the morning, we were awakened by what I would describe as cheering. Multiple individuals in the room, it sounded like they were encouraging somebody to do shooters or, you know, chug a beer," Hyman said.

Hyman, a deputy police chief from Redlands, Calif., with 30 years on the force, called security to complain about all the noise. Hyman added, "And then I banged on the wall a couple of times to hopefully get their attention."

Dayan denies that his client or the others were drinking in the room. According to Kofman's account, they just put George to bed. "In fact, George was so grateful they brought him back to the room that he kissed one of the young men," Dayan said.

But next door, Hyman says he heard things differently.

"Then, kind of suddenly, there was an argument out on the balcony," he said. "This argument was between three, maybe four individuals. It wasn't what I would call a fight, but it was definitely an argument."

Hyman says the argument went on for a couple of minutes, then he heard male voices say goodnight. He opened his door and saw three young men in the hall. Dayan said none of the men stayed behind in the room.

Hyman said he then heard one male voice talking and noises in the room. He also says he heard the sounds of furniture being moved on the balcony -- and then silence.

"There was a couple of minutes of total silence, and then we heard what I would have to describe as a horrific thud. The sound was so loud, it reverberated through our cabin. My first thought was that somebody had fallen out on the balcony," Hyman said.

That was around 4:30 a.m. Kofman's lawyers say their client and the other men were back in their own cabin, eating room service food, before turning in for the night.

More Trouble on the Ship

But where was Jennifer? According to Royal Caribbean, at 4:30 a.m., ship security found her passed out on in a corridor and took her back to her now-empty cabin to sleep it off.

Later that morning, security arrived at Kofman's door.

"My client is asleep at approximately 8:30 a.m. in the morning, there's a knock on his door, saying, 'Wake up, we have a missing person on a ship,'" Dayan said. "He thought that everybody was talking about Jennifer, because they were looking for her the night before."

After a brief investigation, the ship left port in Turkey. Kofman and other three men were still aboard, living it up. By the time the ship reached Italy, they were implicated in yet another terrible situation, this one involving a young woman.

"They're in a Jacuzzi with a young lady," Dayan told "Primetime."

Kofman and another man left the tub, Dayan said. "They go back to their room. They receive a phone call from the other young man who says, 'Look, Rusty, we need to borrow your camera. We want to video a sexual escapade.'"

The young woman involved, however, remembered it differently, and she would accuse Kofman and two of his friends of rape. They all admit they had sex with her, but say it was consensual.

After that accusation, the cruise line booted Kofman, his friends and their families off of the ship. To date, no charges have been brought against Kofman or his friends for either the alleged rape or any role they may have played in George Smith's disappearance.

Family Wants Justice

Smith's relatives, though, say they will not rest until they find out what happened to him.

"We're going to continue until our dying day to make Royal Caribbean accountable and to make sure the perpetrators of the crime are brought to justice," said Bree Smith."They didn't preserve that crime scene, and now six months later there have been no arrests."

Royal Caribbean Capt. Bill Wright rejects the charge that the cruise line failed to preserve a possible crime scene.

"We contacted the authorities, we made the cabin available to them, the cabin was secured, as well as the stained area on the canopy by the captain, immediately," Wright said.

Wright also said the Turkish police came on board the ship and conducted a "full forensic investigation."

"They took blood samples, they took other evidence ... from the cabin, they dusted the entire cabin for fingerprints. All of that information has been turned over to the FBI," he said.

The Smith family is highly critical of the Turkish investigation.

"They were only there for three hours," said George Sr. "Three or four hours to do forensic work, they only took six statements from different people."

And according to his attorney, Kofman and one of his friends were only interviewed by Turkish police for about 10 minutes. Clete Hyman, who heard the commotion that night, says he was not interviewed at all.

Now, this case has taken a new turn. This week, Jennifer Hagel Smith's family hired medical examiner Henry Lee, who testified in the O.J. Simpson case.

Lee recently returned to the scene of George's disappearance -- combing the cabin, the balcony and the metal overhang for clues.

According to Lee, "We did find some evidence. ... But I cannot tell you what I found."

It has now been seven months since George Smith disappeared and his family still has more questions than answers. But for all the confusion and pain this tragedy has caused, the family's desire is simple: justice.

"Bring the perpetrators to trial and have them convicted and go to jail," said Bree Smith.