Air Date: Thursday, January 26, 2006
Time Slot: 10:00 PM-11:00 PM EST on ABC
Episode Title: "N/A"
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]


Murders�Suicides�Cover-Ups�Who is to Blame?

Cruise vacations are meant to be an escape from reality to spend time with family and good friends � but when honeymooner George Smith disappeared on his cruise this past summer, people were stunned and questions were raised on how something like this could happen. Surprisingly his vanishing is not an isolated case � there have been 14 over the past two years. This week �Primetime� investigates a string of loved ones left at sea � a daughter who suspiciously disappears after karaoke with her family; a bachelor gone overboard who lives to tell about it; a divorcee missing from a ship that notifies no one she�s unaccounted for; and an exclusive interview with an attorney for one of the last men to see George Smith alive. Chris Cuomo reports on �Primetime,� THURSDAY, JANUARY 26 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

� Wally and Heidi Knerler expected nothing but fun when they took their daughter, Annette, and granddaughter, Danielle, on a week long cruise to Mexico. Instead Annette went missing one night � never showing up to meet her family for bingo. Moments later her family hears her name paged � someone had found their daughter�s handbag next to the ship�s railing. But when the ship didn�t stop, Annette�s family took matters into their own hands and found evidence making them fear their daughter was attacked. The security officers, however, stated that she committed suicide. Over a year later, Annette�s family is still left with no answers.

� Forty-year-old Merrian Carver went missing on day two of her Alaskan cruise. A divorced mother of a 13-year-old, her loved ones had no idea she was even on a cruise. But three weeks after the ship docked, officials confirmed that Merrian did board the cruise -- they just weren�t sure where or when she got off. Unsatisfied with Royal Caribbean�s efforts, Merrian�s father embarked on his own investigation. He hired a private investigator, who says he got the runaround, and months later learned the most stunning part � a cabin attendant on board reported Merrian missing daily, but his boss said not to report it. Was there a cover up? And will the Carvers ever know why their daughter disappeared?

� Tim Sears began his five-day cruise with his best friend, Mike, looking for sun and partying in the Gulf of Mexico. After spending his first day drinking, followed by an evening of dancing, the 31-year-old found himself floating in the middle of a pitch black sea � alone. As he swims through the night, the party continues on board with no one noticing he�s gone. But after 17 disoriented hours, struggles to stay afloat and temptations to give up, he sees a ship and miraculously is rescued 50 miles from land. �Primetime� takes you inside his remarkable journey adrift.

� Eight days into George Smith�s honeymoon, he went overboard, and he has been missing since July 5. His distraught family says the cruise line initially downplayed suspicious circumstances, failing to tell them evidence which they feel points to foul play. In short, George�s family believes he was murdered. Tied to the suspicious circumstances are four men who brought George back to his cabin the night he disappeared, and among them speculation has centered on 20-year-old Rusty Kofman. �Primetime� sits down with Rusty�s attorneys in an exclusive interview detailing their client�s version of what happened that night.

DIANE SAWYER, CHRIS CUOMO, CYNTHIA McFADDEN and JOHN QUINONES are the anchors of �Primetime.� DAVID SLOAN is the executive producer.

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