When Amy Lynn Bradley vanished during a cruise on its way to Curacao in 1998, everyone was left baffled — and that was just the beginning of this puzzling tale.
On March 21, 1998, 23-year-old Amy Lynn Bradley boarded Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas with her parents and brother. They were looking forward to a tropical family vacation at the end of a chilly winter. But just days later, as the ship headed toward Curaçao, Bradley vanished.
On the night of March 23, Bradley and her brother reportedly spent most of the night dancing in the ship’s club. When the band’s set finished, Bradley had a drink with a few of the members. One of them, Alister Douglas, partied with Bradley for a bit before he returned to the staff cabins around 1 a.m. He said that was the last time he saw her.
Bradley and her brother then returned to their family cabin, where he went to bed and she walked out to the balcony to lounge on a deck chair. That’s where her father saw her around 5:30 a.m. — but just 30 minutes later, she disappeared.
Her room key, cigarettes, and lighter were missing, but it seemed that Bradley hadn’t taken anything else with her, not even her sandals. A later report revealed that someone had seen Bradley headed to the top deck of the ship with her cigarettes in hand around 6 a.m. But when the family checked there and other common areas on the ship, they found no trace of her.
Certain that something terrible must have happened, the Bradley family begged the cruise ship to cancel plans to dock at Curaçao. They didn’t want anyone to leave the ship until a thorough search could be carried out. The crew refused. They didn’t want to alarm other passengers by announcing the disappearance of a young woman. They even refused to post any photographs alerting people to keep an eye out for her. So the ship docked as scheduled — and Amy Lynn Bradley was never seen again.
Of course, the easiest explanation is that Bradley fell overboard and vanished beneath the ocean waves. But Bradley was a strong swimmer as well as a trained lifeguard, and the ship was not far from shore. Meanwhile, there was no evidence that she’d fallen into the water.
In the decades since Bradley’s disappearance, there have been several alleged sightings of her in the Caribbean. Someone even sent her parents a photo of a woman that looked like Bradley that suggested she’d been trafficked into sex slavery.
But even after more than 25 years, chilling clues like these have answered few questions about Bradley’s disappearance, and authorities are no closer to solving this baffling mystery than they were in 1998.
Learn more about the baffling disappearance of Amy Lynn Bradley and the gut-wrenching theories surrounding it.