Why singer won’t get in­quest: coro­ner clar­i­fies


The Northern Ter­ri­tory Coro­ner has re­leased a let­ter de­tail­ing his rea­sons for re­fus­ing to con­duct an in­quest into the un­ex­plained death of an Amer­i­can singer aboard a cruise ship that docked in Dar­win in 2013.

The move comes af­ter The Aus­tralian yes­ter­day re­vealed that the par­ents of the then 24-yearold were in search of clues about her death. They said they felt they had no choice but to act in­de­pen­dently af­ter NT Coro­ner Greg Ca­vanagh re­fused to in­ves­ti­gate Jackie Kas­trinelis’s death aboard the Seven Seas Voy­ager.

“This is re­ally dif­fi­cult for our fam­ily, but we have to make sure jus­tice is done for Jackie,” Kathy Kas­trinelis said. “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her death was flawed from the start and we are at a loss as to why they did not open an in­quest.”

In his let­ter, dated in April, Judge Ca­vanagh said while the young woman’s death was un­doubt­edly a tragedy, “there is no ev­i­dence what­so­ever that there was foul play”.

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter, the Kas­trinelis fam­ily had, in seek­ing an in­quest, pro­vided doc­u­ments al­leg­ing “jeal­ous par­ties may have used a date-rape drug … in con­nec­tion with the death. The sug­ges­tion is that ap­pro­pri­ate test­ing was not done for date-rape drugs”.

“I have since specif­i­cally con­firmed there was test­ing for ke­tamine by the lab­o­ra­tory and no trace was found. In ad­di­tion, there was screen­ing for other com­mon date-rape drugs,” Judge Ca­vanagh said. He said it was “a mat­ter of re­gret” that tis­sue and blood sam­ples col­lected from Kas­trinelis’s body were not sent to her fam­ily un­til Fe­bru­ary 2015.

Judge Ca­vanagh also re­marked that “in­con­sis­ten­cies in some of the ev­i­dence” needed to be un­der­stood in the con­text of there be­ing “no ev­i­dence of vi­o­lent or sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances within the cabin”.

“In my view, there is no new ev­i­dence, and there are no new facts to sup­port the ap­pli­ca­tion to hold an in­quest,” he wrote.


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