EXCLUSIVE: Mother speaks out about daughter who fell overboard on cruise

Top Stories

Marilyn Winfrey is living a nightmare.

She was contacted by Carnival Cruise Line officials who said that her daughter Juwanna Brooks fell overboard on January 21 near Mexico.

“I texted her up until dinner and that was my last time hearing her,” Winfrey recalls.

She says Juwanna sent her a video shortly after she and her husband boarded the ship on January 20 as it was headed from New Orleans to Cozumel.

“It was a Christmas present from her husband and this was her 1st cruise,” the mother says.

Sadly, Winfrey believes it was most likely her last…as she leans on her faith, her family, and friends for strength.

“I just want to believe that they’re going to find something, I just want to be able to put her to rest,” Winfrey says.

For now, not knowing is taking its toll on the close-knit family.

“We’ve been trying to get in touch with the embassy in Mexico, but it’s a long process and we haven’t heard anything yet but they are still looking for her,” Winfrey says.

And that’s providing a glimmer of hope for Winfrey and her family at a time when they need it most.

But when it comes to social media, Winfrey says people are being downright cruel.

“I did hear rumors that she possibly jumped, but there’s no way she could, she’s only 5 foot 1. There’s a lot of rumors going around and we don’t know, it’s still under investigation by the FBI. We’re still waiting we haven’t heard anything yet,” she explains.

In the meantime, they’re remembering Juwanna, who they describe as a very lovable person, a wonderful daughter, mother and grandmother who just celebrated her 44th birthday in December.

“I’m still believing that she’s going to come home one way or the other. I want her to come home. That’s mainly what I want right now, just to have closure,” Winfrey says.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local