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.