24-YEAR-OLD ASPIRING ACTRESS TAKES A ROMANTIC WEEKEND CRUISE WITH HER BOYFRIEND -- 24 HOURS LATER SHE IS DEAD
The FBI Investigates the Case on the Season Premiere of "48 Hours Mystery,"
Saturday, Sept. 23
Ashley Barnett was looking to celebrate her 25th birthday when she boarded the Carnival cruise ship "Paradise" in Long Beach, Calif., on Oct. 14, 2005. But less than 24 hours into the trip, the aspiring actress, who was beginning to make her way in Hollywood, was dead. Correspondent Bill Lagattuta reports on the events surrounding Ashley's mysterious death for the season premiere of 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Dark Voyage," to be broadcast Saturday, Sept. 23 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Ashley, who was working for Hollywood composer John Debney, ("Princess Diaries," Bruce Almighty") went on the cruise with her boyfriend, Geoff Ginsburg, and a group of friends. The broadcast includes the first interview with Ginsburg, who tells Correspondent Lagattuta that he and Ashley had a disagreement in their cabin that first night. He says he wanted to go back to the ship's casino but Ashley wanted to go to sleep. Ginsburg says he did go out again and then returned to the cabin and went to sleep next to Ashley at about 4:00 AM. Around midday, Ginsburg says, Ashley was still sleeping -- he left the cabin -- and when he returned at about 2:00 PM, she was unresponsive, and he began "freaking out." He says he ran into the hallway screaming for help and called 9-1-1. By 2:45 PM that afternoon, Ashley was pronounced dead by the ship's doctor.
Ashley's body was taken off the ship in Ensenada, Mexico, where the boat had been docked. That day, her mother, Jamie Barnett, got a call from the ship's nurse, telling her that Ashley was dead. Geoff Ginsburg reveals that the trip had a purpose other than the birthday celebration. Ginsburg, who had issues with drug addiction in the past, was using the cruise to try to help him detox from a drug habit.
No charges have been filed in the case, which is being investigated by the FBI, and Mexican police continue to investigate whether a crime was committed. The family has hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred. Almost one year after Ashley's mysterious death, Jamie Barnett continues an unrelenting search for answers to understand exactly how her daughter's first pleasure cruise ended in tragedy -- and who, if anyone, is responsible.
48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Dark Voyage" is produced by Nancy Kramer and Judy Tygard. Al Briganti is the executive editor and Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.