Friday, April 01, 2016

A Is for Amy Lynn Bradley

It's officially A to Z Challenge time!!! All month, a ridiculously large group of us will be posting six days a week on a theme, starting at A and ending with Z. My theme for this year? 



Today's letter is:



Each year, there are dozens of deaths on cruise ships. Many fall overboard. A small number are murdered. Some die of natural causes. But the number of people who simply disappear without a trace while on a big cruise ship in the middle of the ocean?

Very, very low.

Amy Lynn Bradley was a 23-year-old woman from Chesterfield, Virginia. 



In 1998, when she was 23, she was invited on a seven-day Caribbean vacation with her parents. Surprisingly, despite the fact that she was a swim team coach and a strong swimmer, she was apprehensive about being in the middle of the ocean. She went anyway.



This is a family photo of the Bradleys on the ship:



On the night of the 23rd, Amy's parents went to bed early while Amy and her brother stayed up late at the ship's disco. Brad last saw his sister on the balcony around 4:30 a.m. He went to bed and she stayed up.


A Royal Caribbean balcony

Around 5:30 a.m., as the ship arrived at the Caribbean island of Curacao, Amy's father woke. He saw Amy relaxing on the balcony and left her there while he went back to sleep.

20 minutes later, he woke up, looked out on the balcony...and she was gone.

Over the years, there have been several Amy sightings. At this point, every single sign seems to point to human trafficking.

in 2005, an anonymous email was sent to the parents with pictures of an "escort" on an adult website based in the Caribbean:



A forensic expert said the facial structure, hairline, and ear piercings made the woman in the photo a perfect match for Amy. 

Alister "Yellow" Douglas, was a band member some say she was seen with around 5:45 a.m., heading back to the disco. Her brother confirmed he'd seen her dancing with him the night before.



There was never enough evidence to charge him with anything.

What do you think happened to Amy Lynn Bradley?

94 comments:

  1. Her parents must've been sound sleepers not to hear her walk through the room and out the door again.
    If she was kidnapped while on the ship, where did they hide her and how did they get her off the ship?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I thought--for the longest time I was stuck on--she disappeared from the balcony??? But then she was seen going back to the disco. I especially am perplexed as to why her father wouldn't have heard her when he'd just gone back to sleep. That's usually when I'm most likely to be easily awoken.

      Delete
    2. Who was in the room at the time? The father and the mother ? I find it odd that according to his story he woke to find his daughter not in the room with the sliding door opened about 16" which would indicate she walked through the cabin and out the door( not fell overboard). He then says he started to worry almost immediately. Why would you be concerned when your ADULT daughter left the cabin for a bit? I can see if it was an hour later but right away he's concerned? They were pulling into port so wouldn't you assume she went for coffee and/or to get a view of the port they were about to visit?

      Delete
    3. Dan Hansell that makes a whole lot of sense!!! I believe the father had something to do with it. I think he paid for his daughter to disappeared. Instead they drug her and put her in sex trafficking. I believe she came clean and told her father she's an lesbian. He didn't take it too well. IJS.......

      Delete
    4. I feel you on that. I believe he had something to do with the disappearance. I believe he paid for her to be kidnapped. Instead they sold her into sex trafficking. I believe she must of came clean to her dad about her sexual identity and he wasn't happy about it. If the father story that messed up, he must have something to do with it....

      Delete
  2. How do you get people off a cruise ship without anyone noticing? Sounds like she was kidnapped or somehow fell overboard and swept away so she was never found.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The guy in the last picture was a member of the band...and it had just docked. I've never taken a cruise...would a crew member have been able to leave when they had just pulled into port?

      Delete
  3. Oh, wow - what a fascinating (and horrible) mystery. What agony it must be for her family not knowing for sure what happened to her. Awful.

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/2016/04/a-is-for-anchor-nancy-drew-investigates.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So disturbing...if you get into the story in detail, a woman ran into a woman who looked just like her in a ladies' room down there. The woman was in the stall when she heard men come in with a woman and tell her not to screw this deal up. (Sounds very bad movie-ish!) They left and the woman came out of the stall to see a woman standing at the sinks. When she asked if she was okay, the woman at the sinks acted really strangely...she told her that her name was Amy but before she could get more out, the men came back in for her. "Amy" rushed out and the men went after her, I believe...

      Delete
  4. If that is her in a photo later on then I would say to question the crew on the ship because they had to smuggle her off without being seen. I bête there were more who have gone missing but they have not been advertised. These are often intricate rings and take years to break. I feel very badly for the family

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i think there are more cases of adult trafficking than we'd like to believe, even in our own country. Often they prey on young women who live "high risk" lifestyles like those who get into drugs and run away from home. There are several college-aged women I'm writing about this month who could have fallen into something like that, though.

      Delete
  5. How on earth is somebody kidnapped aboard a ship and then smuggled off?
    Unless there's help on the inside...an elaborate trafficking organisation involving crew aboard the ship? They say that "money talks" and everybody has his/her price.
    Scary thought.
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do think more than one person had to have been involved. It was Royal Caribbean...honestly, in general, though, for some reason when someone goes missing or is murdered on a cruise ship, it is treated 100-percent differently than if it had happened in America. The police don't really get involved like they do on land. I think because it's all out on the water and not in any specific jurisdiction? They definitely need to do something about that.

      Delete
    2. Yes, cruise ships fly under different flags so they don't have to adhere to American laws. It's quite scary.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. I know...imagine writing about these all month. Some of these stories are breaking my heart, and this was one of them.

      Delete
  7. Great theme, Stephanie! My sister would go ga-ga for this. She's loves the unsolved stuff. It just makes my heart throb something sad...

    I'm either with the fell abroad - maybe committed suicide? Although wouldn't the police have combed the waters... Hmm, or the kidnapping one. Again, it seriously makes me wonder how ANYONE got her off the boat. Which direction was it facing? Closer to the port of Curacao?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is sad...I love trying to solve the mystery and the "unknown" of it all, but it's not like Twilight Zone. There isn't some happy answer at the end of it all. All too often, the ending to the story is a tragic one, and you don't realize it. Maybe because it's "unsolved," we never have to hear the ending so we can pretend maybe they're off living a new life somewhere? Far easier to hear than stories where the ending is that the person was found dead.

      Delete
  8. I have no idea what happened to her, but Carl Haaisen has a very funny story of a woman who is tossed off a cruise ship by her husband and the "revenge she gets" when she doesn't die but survives. It is called "Skinny Dip"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds hilarious! Scary, but hilarious.

      Delete
  9. I never knew about this. Interesting theme you chose. I can't wait to see what others you blog about. This will be a learning experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jamie! I did have fun writing them. I heard a story today I wanted to include, but I'm done...so I'll have to do some later stories to share all the ones I've heard since writing these!

      Delete
  10. Another good reason not to cruise. Both of my cruises ran into very bad weather so I am off them for good. But disappearance? Sounds like the crew had to be in on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You definitely need to get the anti-nausea patch if you go on a cruise. It's a MUST. But yeah, I think it takes more than one person to pull off something like that.

      Delete
  11. Sad story. I'm guessing on a cruise ship there would be plenty of compartments where someone could be hidden and could be taken off the ship in a trunk of some sort, especially if the person was knocked out. Maybe one day she'll be able to return to her family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The family was furious that the ship decided to let passengers off rather than locking the ship down to search it. They just sent passengers off the ship...so yeah, anything could have happened when they did that. God forbid we get off our schedule.

      Delete
  12. I dread to think what happened and I now I've always had a deep rooted dislike for cruises. This unsolved case confirms my fears. Grizzly.
    Fran
    @FranClarkAuthor
    Writing Women’s Fiction

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL...well, I saw a statistic that after the age of, I think 25?, your risk of getting kidnapped goes WAY down. So no wonder cruises are so popular with seniors!

      Delete
    2. Cruises are exciting, but people must do the buddy system at all times. Never go anywhere alone.

      Delete
  13. The poor family! How many times have they asked themselves what they could've/should've/would've done differently?

    She went back to the disco at 5:30? I wonder why she left in the first place, went back to the room, relaxed on the balcony? It sounds like she was done for the night. The whole thing is so strange.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I asked my mom who regularly cruises with Royal Caribbean--it sounds like the disco wouldn't even be open at that hour. So it makes me wonder what was waiting at the disco for them...or who?

      Delete
  14. That's just plain scary, to vanish while your family is close by and even checking in on you. Human trafficking does sound like the most logical conclusion, but still to get someone off the ship would seem to indicate several people were in on it.
    Discarded Darlings

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly would make me think twice about taking a child or teenager...or even 20-something on a cruise with me, to be honest.

      Delete
  15. A very unsettling case. I feel sorry for the family. In the last photo with the long hair, she looks so distant and not happy.
    I hope some day this case will be solved.
    Hugs,
    JB

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a very haunting photo, isn't it?

      Delete
  16. I've seen this case on TV, and I totally think she was kidnapped. I hope they find her some day. Cases like this terrify me, especially being a mom.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think she was, too--when you hear about the sightings of her later, especially. I didn't go into all that here, but they really build a case that she was kidnapped and forced into some sort of bad situation.

      Delete
  17. I have heard of this case which is quite tragic. I do think she may have become a human trafficking victim. In the states we do not do enough to warn young people. One big piece of advice is to never drink unless you know your companions well, male or female. The other is be Leary of offers and leaving with strangers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was listening to a true crime podcast this week and the host made a good point. Often cops say girls who live "high risk lifestyles" are more likely to be kidnapped and/or murdered. But every girl between 18 and 25 or so can often fall into that category, especially if she stays out late drinking, goes clubbing with friends, or even goes on dates with strangers.

      Delete
  18. I love your theme! I think Allister had something to do with it but why get off the ship at that early in the morning with a stranger.

    Although I am not officially entered in the challenge this year, I still follow your blog and will lurk at others :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I honestly believe the whole thing had been planned in advance. They probably made some sort of connection the night before...maybe even an agreement to meet up the next morning? I don't know...but on his end, I'll bet it was organized and planned.

      Delete
  19. Very unsettling. I don't know how it was back then, but kidnapping of tourists has been on the rise in the islands. It's very common for tourists, especially those who look rich, to disappear. Alister or maybe someone he knew and introduced her to, could've easily had a partner(s)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is REALLY disturbing. I know Natalee Holloway is one of the most high-profile disappearances and Amy's case came up in the beginning, because they thought they might be connected somehow. I guess they weren't.

      Delete
  20. If the ship had still been at sea, it would be very possible for her to fall overboard and never be seen again. In port, however, the options multiply. The first questions would be is she a) alive or b) not. If she is alive, she either went a) willingly or b) against her will. The high end prostitutes can rake in money...seriously. But most of the 'workers' get little or nothing. I typed up a police report one night where the woman offered the undercover to give him oral sex for $3.

    From what is in your post, Amy doesn't seem like the type to be dying to get away from her family in an exotic locale.

    LuAnn (approx #374 on the list) @ Back Porchervations.
    (and one of co-host AJ Lauer's #wHooligans)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do you have a police background? If so, I'd LOVE to have your thoughts on these all month! I didn't get the feeling she'd left willingly but it sounds, from the reported sightings since, that she is not staying where she is willingly.

      Delete
  21. I love unsolved mysteries! I can't' wait to read your next post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tomorrow's is one of my favorites!

      Delete
  22. I remember hearing about this case. Cruise ships are...well, dangerous I guess. A surprising number of people disappear off of them. Even if Amy was a strong swimmer, she could have still fallen overboard and been too hurt to save herself. But who knows...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised to hear how many people fall overboard. That is possible, although they were pulling into port, so I'm not sure she would have chosen that particular time to jump overboard. Seems she would have waited until they were further out. She was also spotted by multiple witnesses around 5:30 a.m. in the elevator and in an area near the disco...so it sounds like she somehow got out of the room after her father saw her.

      Delete
  23. Replies
    1. That's the toughest part of writing these...they're real people with real loved ones.

      Delete
  24. That's so sad. I hope she found her way out, if that's what happened to her.

    I used to love watching Unsolved Mysteries, even though it freaked me out a lot...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope she someday does. I never really watched much of Unsolved Mysteries. I would love the show today, but it was on during a time in my life when I was distracted with other things.

      Delete
  25. Such a sad story. I recently watched a film about someone missing on a cruise ship. In the end, the wife had killed the husband for money. The sadest thing for Amy's family, I think, will be the not knowing. No closure. How terrible.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Was that Deadly Honeymoon? If so, it was based on the real-life case of George Smith and Jennifer Hagel. It's a fascinating story, but it doesn't really appear that she did it--it looks like some bad guys on the ship did.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-closes-probe-into-vanished-cruise-ship-honeymooner/

      Delete
  26. I would have said she fell/jumped overboard, but it seems like there is more to it than that... The sex trafficking possibility is very depressing, and it does happen to a lot of women, sadly :/

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    The Multicolored Diary
    MopDog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think most often it happens to women who fall into drugs and other kinds of trouble. It's always heartbreaking but for some reason it gets more attention when it's a girl who hasn't gotten into that kind of trouble.

      Delete
    2. I don't understand why people fail to read the story before commenting. She was seen on video after she left the room. She was seen outside. How could she jump over..before she went back to the casino to meet up with the band member or later

      Delete
  27. Oh the not knowing is awful. Awful. What a sad story. I remember hearing about this, but not enough information for me to thing one thing or another. I'd have to read every report.

    Have a fabulous day and what a great start on your A to Z Challenge. ☺

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it would never be easy to lose a loved one, but especially to not know. The lack of closure would be so difficult.

      Delete
  28. What a nightmare for her parents. I can't imagine the pain they are going through.

    I've never been a fan of cruises- I'll add this to my list of reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I've never taken one. I'd like to, but I have heard there are some shady characters working on the ships.

      Delete
  29. Stuff like this is so crazy. We've had so many girls disappear in our area.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I'm really going to like your theme this year.
    This one is perplexing. Could she have, for some reason, gone over the balcony? Was it feasible for her to climb? So many questions.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow, that is one eerie story. I think it's oh-too-possible that she was kidnapped. Couldn't have been easy, though.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I believe in the story of her being taken for "improper services". I wish the United States would follow Nevada's rule and give it a safe, regulated and legal outlet. And give police departments far more power in going after people who get taken. If they can take away their demand, and hurt their operations, a lot of these girls would still be safe with their families.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I vaguely recall this story. I find it interesting that it has still gone unsolved.

    Mary
    Twitter: @KnottyMarie
    Literary Gold
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

    ReplyDelete
  34. The photos give a little more eeriness to this mystery! I got chills over this. I haven't been on a cruise before because I don't like being away from the computer, but this is even more reason not to vacation in the ocean!

    ReplyDelete
  35. How sad it must be for her family to not know what had happened to her. I read somewhere that a lot of crimes on cruise ships are covered up.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thats indeed a mystery. What happened to her?

    A - The Art Attack

    ReplyDelete
  37. Wow. Makes me not want to go on a cruise with my daughter now.

    ReplyDelete
  38. This case is so creepy. I've considered covering it as well.

    Sex trafficking could have been what happened, but it sounds so farfetched. How often is an American woman stolen off a cruise ship and sold into slavery? (I honestly don't know--maybe it happens more than I think.)

    ReplyDelete
  39. WOW!!! So sad. And mysterious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Her poor family. Her poor, poor family. Whatever happened.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Wow. That is just awful.
    But makes for a great theme for your challenge.

    Looking forward to seeing what you post all month.

    Tim
    --
    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Adventure!
    http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/

    ReplyDelete
  42. I was always fascinated by unsolved mysteries as a kid (both the TV show and reading up on similar stuff in books), so I'm looking forward to your month!

    Of course, with stories like this, I also expect to be terribly, terribly depressed.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Quite a strange story. My guess would be that she fell or jumped overboard. But who knows? The 'escort' photos seems to tell a different story.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    ReplyDelete
  44. Eesh, hadn't heard about this one. How awful. I do believe what the authorities suspect. Newly unemployed crew members told many disturbing stories after the cruise line went bankrupt and we drifted for a few days at sea, rather than rush to port where maritime marshals waited to escort everyone off.
    They could have easily hidden the poor girl, but I wonder how they got her to comply?

    ReplyDelete
  45. So tragic for all those involved especially for her family. Bravo to you for bringing this to light again. Great theme idea and I am looking forward to your next post.

    ReplyDelete
  46. You've got an interesting but unsettling theme...

    Yvonne

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wow. I have never heard that story before. That is truly, truly shocking. And of course it deals with a topic me ar and dear to my heart. I will definitely be doing some research on that story… this is a great theme by the way, Stephanie.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Chilling. You'd think a cruise ship would be safe.

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is a puzzling one. I find it hard to believe you could kidnap someone and hold them on a cruise ship then get them off against their will at the other end without anyone noticing. I think the most likely explanation is she fell (or jumped) over board and was swept out to sea. Whatever happened, it's a very sad story
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  50. What a horrid experience for the family. A vacation that went bad. I wonder why she was apprehensive about going. Did she have some premonition about drowning? Was it suicide or a freak wave?

    Pioneer Women in Aviation A-Z

    ReplyDelete
  51. Wow. This makes me think twice about cruises that's for sure. Seems very odd that she was cooperating with the kidnappers of the lady in the bathroom is telling the truth.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Very intriguing! And what a great idea for a theme.

    ReplyDelete
  53. A scary fact is that these traffickers are going more after males and females who are not necessarily ideal runaway candidates. As of there is some demand for people who are of a certain type. Sadly Amy sounds like the perfect target if there were inside men on the crew. A family falls asleep and the daughter goes out again because she is an adult. Or maybe opened the door for 'room service' and got taken. The possibilities are many and frightening.

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am not sure what happened to Amy- but this story gave me chills. There is definitely a story someone could write based on this information! Sounds scary to me!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Stories like this are the reason I never like to go anywhere alone when I'm traveling. I always like to keep someone close by when shopping or site-seeing. Even locally, I try to stay very aware of my surroundings if I'm alone.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Wow, wow, wow! This is one of my favorite things to read about: unsolved mysteries! When I lived in West Virginia, there was a story about a family that had children that disappeared in the 40s or 50s, I think: the Sodders. The parents put up a huge billboard and those faces of the children just haunted me.

    Google it - it's a crazy story.

    Like the "escort" in this picture! If I thought that was my family member, I'd be tormented beyond belief.

    BEST A-to-Z YET!
    Cherdo
    Cherdo on the Flipside
    "Favorite Characters, Favorite Lines" on the A-to-Z Challenge 2016

    ReplyDelete
  57. It seems a person, especially a young woman, isn't safe anywhere. I hope they solve this case, though it may be too late for the victim.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I love your theme! This is a very interesting one. Now, they check each passenger as they leave the ship but maybe they didn't then, or maybe the band member got her off through an employee exit.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Falling overboard makes the most sense, possibly kidnapped but you would need to figure out the logistics

    ReplyDelete
  60. If the half-wits running the cruise-ship had done the right thing, this awful mystery may not have continued. It is due to their negligence and the FBI's amateurish approach that nothing has happened. Shame on you. I feel so sorry for the parents.

    ReplyDelete