ST. GEORGE, Utah, July 29, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A GoFundMe account — “Fund for the Manzanares Girls” — has been set up after the July 25 cruise ship murder of Utahn Kristy Manzanares.
The 39-year-old victim left behind three daughters with her husband, Kenneth Manzanares, also 39, who remains in custody, accused in his wife’s violent death.
The Manzanares’ daughters are two teenagers and one young adult, according to an email from Dana Nichols, who established the memorial account. Nichols told Gephardt Daily she is a longtime friend of the St. George area family, and has children close in age to the Manzanares girls.
“Kristy was a smart, kind, beautiful woman that had so much to live for. She had three beautiful daughters that she loved more than anything,” the GoFundMe page says.
“Everything she did was for the girls. She wanted so much for them and was only concerned with their happiness. Kristy was always thoughtful and was loved by so many. Her children loved her more than anything, she meant the world to them.
“She was a hard worker who who made her busy schedule work around the needs of her girls. Kristy’s life was tragically taken July 25, 2017. Kristy’s life was taken from her while on a cruise in Alaska. Please help the family with expenses and to help her 3 beautiful children.”
As of late Saturday morning, the day-old GoFundMe account had raised more that $21,600 of its stated $50,000 goal.
And with some of the donations came tributes from old friends.
“Kristy I knew you years ago in college at CEU then SUU,” wrote Tyler Petersen. “At that time your oldest daughter was just little. You were such a good mom, so patient, mature, compassionate, and tough. You were going through school and taking care of your little daughter and her needs all by yourself and never complained. I remember how excited you would get every time she would hit a milestone like crawling or walking. Beautiful smile and a wonderful personality. My heart aches.”
Nanette Perri also added a tribute:
“Rest easy Kristy, my deepest condolences to your beautiful daughters, your amazing parents, and all of your family and friends! We will miss you dearly! God Speed!”
The girls’ father remains in custody in Juneau, Alaska, after his arraignment Thursday on murder charges. His next court appearance is set for Aug. 10.
According to an account from CBS News, Manzanares was emotional at his arraignment, and dabbed at his eyes and nose with a tissue as he stood, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, his ankles shackled above slip-on shoes.
The couple’s three daughters are now in the care of relatives, according to the CBS news report.
Kristy and Kenneth Manzanares had been high school sweethearts, and were on the Alaskan cruise, aboard the Emerald Princess, to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Their daughters were with them. The ship left Seattle on Sunday.
Legal documents filed in Anchorage, Alaska, said that on the night of June 25, a Tuesday, Ken Manzanares answered his cabin door with blood covering his hands and clothing, according to a witness identified as D.H.
When D.H. entered the cabin, he saw 39-year-old Kristy Manzanares, the suspect’s wife, on the floor, covered with blood. When D.H. asked why he did it, Kenneth Manzanares replied: “She would not stop laughing at me.”
The dead woman was found with severe wounds to her head.
“D.H. then observed Manzanares grab K.M.’s body and drag her toward the
balcony in cabin D726. D.H. then grabbed the ankles of K.M.’s body and pulled her back into the cabin of D726,” the court documents say.
“Soon after, Emerald Princess security entered D726 and restrained and secured Manzanares. Later, when Manzanares was being processed during a search by the F.B.I. for physical evidence, he spontaneously stated, ‘my life is over.'”
(To read an article including the full probable cause statement, click here.)
The statement, sworn by FBI special agent Michael L. Watson, ended with a conclusion:
“Based upon the foregoing information, I have probable cause to believe that
Kenneth Manzaraes committed the act of murder.”