Amy Bradley was on a weeklong family cruise to the Caribbean when, in the early hours of Tuesday, March 24, 1998, she vanished. Within a half-hour period, her family noticed she had disappeared, just as their ship, Rhapsody of the Seas, was getting ready to dock in Curaçao. After an extensive search of the ship, Amy’s family left to see if she had simply disembarked without telling them. She wasn’t in Curaçao, and she wasn’t on the ship. What happened to Amy Bradley? She wasn’t known to run away and wasn’t suicidal. She had a new job, a new home, and would never leave her family or pet bulldog.
Evidence soon emerged suggesting Amy had been kidnapped. But no one on board was talking. Amy Bradley, the 23-year-old all-American girl who graduated from Longwood University in Virginia with a degree in physical education, had vanished.
|About Amy Bradley|
|Birth||May 12, 1974 Petersburg, Virginia|
|Parents||Ron Bradley, Iva Bradley|
According to her family, someone saw her, wanted her, and took her. There have been some very credible sightings of Amy since she disappeared, but no one has been able to verify those claims or track her down.
Keep reading this Amy Bradley wiki to find out the latest information on her mysterious disappearance.
Details on Amy Bradley
Missing Since: 03/24/1998
Missing From: Caribbean cruise aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas
Born: May 12, 1974
Place of Birth: Petersburg, Virginia
Height: 5’ 6”
Weight: 120 pounds
Hair: Short brown
Distinguishing Characteristics: Bradley has the following tattoos: a Tasmanian Devil character spinning a basketball on her shoulder, the sun on her lower back, a Chinese symbol on her right ankle, and a gecko lizard on her navel. She also has a navel ring.
A $250,000 reward is offered to anyone who provides information leading to the safe return of Amy Lynn Bradley. A reward of $50,000 is offered for information leading to her verifiable location. The FBI is also offering a reward of up to $25,000.
You can also submit an anonymous tip online.
Amy Bradley’s Father Won a Cruise
In 1998, Amy’s father Ron Bradley, an insurance executive, won a trip—a Caribbean cruise. Despite being a vivacious, outgoing, take-charge kind of person, who also happened to be a swim coach, Amy was a little apprehensive about going on the cruise on the wide, open ocean. But spending time with her family was not something she wanted to give up.
On Saturday, March 21, Amy Bradley, her brother Brad, and parents Ron and Iva Bradley left for a weeklong Caribbean cruise aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas.
According to Iva, when the four of them boarded the Rhapsody of the Seas, she noticed almost immediately that other passengers and crew were paying a lot of attention to their young, attractive daughter. “I remember watching people watch her admiringly,” she said, “I felt proud.”
After dinner, a waiter came out of the dining room and asked Iva where Amy was. She asked him why. “Well, we want to take her to Carlos ‘n Charlie’s,” he replied.
Ron added that he thought the waiter was being a little too forward.
When Amy got back, Ron told her that the waiter wanted to take her out with his friends when the ship docked in Aruba.
“And then Amy looked at me and said, ‘They’re creepy. And I’m not going anywhere with them.’”
For the record, Carlos ‘n Charlie’s was the same bar where Alabama teen Natalee Holloway would disappear from years later, in 2005.
Iva also noticed a bass player, Alister Douglas, who played in the live band Blue Orchid. He went by the name “Yellow” and was, she said, “a very unsavory-looking character.”
Amy had confided in her brother Brad that Douglas had been hitting on her, but, she said, “he was a real jerk.”
Port of Call
The first three days went smoothly.
On the morning of Monday, March 23, the Bradley family disembarked the ship to explore Oranjestad, Aruba—their first port of call. Before leaving, they marked the occasion with a family photo.
The family returned to the ship after a day visiting Oranjestad and had dinner, followed by a calypso party on the upper deck. Amy and her brother participated in the limbo contest, which Brad won. The siblings also had a formal picture taken.
At around 1:00 a.m., the ship headed into international waters for Curaçao, a small Dutch Caribbean island near Venezuela. Iva and Ron were exhausted and decided to call it a night at around 1:30 a.m. They retired to the eight-deck cabin the family shared.
Later that night, Amy and her brother danced at an onboard party. Brad recalled watching Amy dance with the band’s bass player, Douglas. A videographer who was producing an entertainment video for his client captured Amy and Douglas on camera dancing together.
After a night of dancing, Brad and Amy called it quits. The ship’s computerized door-lock system recorded Brad’s return to the suite at 3:35 a.m. Amy arrived back at their room five minutes later.
Brad said he and his sister sat on the suite’s balcony, chatted, and shared a cigarette. Brad told Amy he was feeling tired, said I love you, and went inside. Amy decided she wanted some more fresh air and stayed out on the balcony, relaxing on a lounge chair.
At around 5:30 a.m., as the ship was pulling into Curaçao, Ron woke up and checked in to see if his kids were sleeping. Brad was in bed, while Amy was on the balcony sleeping. He decided not to wake her.
About 20 minutes later, he woke up and looked in on his kids again; Brad was still asleep, but Amy was gone. She had left her shoes and taken her cigarettes and lighter.
“I knew right away something was up,” Ron said. “It was unlike Amy. It’s very unlike her to just leave and not let us know where she’s going.”
Ron hoped that Amy had simply gone up on deck to take some pictures or grab a coffee. He went up on deck expecting to find Amy, but again, she was nowhere to be found. For the next hour, he searched the ship’s common areas for Amy.
At about 7:00 a.m., he said, he ran into the ship’s security chief, Lou Costello, and alerted him. He then woke his wife.
Ship’s Captain Didn’t Want to “Alarm the Passengers”
The customer isn’t always right. For the Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line, it seems, the most important thing is ensuring their passengers are left in the dark. It also turns out the cruise line wasn’t entirely forthcoming with the truth about the search for Amy Bradley.
By 7:00 a.m., the ship was docking in Curaçao. The Bradleys pleaded with the ship’s officers not to lower the gangway until their daughter was found—but the gangway was lowered and 3,000 people left the ship.
At about lunchtime, Captain Kjetil Gjerstad told the family that Amy was not on board. He assured them, “We have searched every nook and cranny.”
Iva then asked Captain Gjerstad to distribute a picture of Amy to all passengers. He refused to pass out pictures of Amy Bradley.
”I cannot do that,” he allegedly said. ”I will not alarm the passengers.”
“My son was in a fetal position. Ron was vomiting blood, and I had no feeling in my arms,” she recalled.
By 5:00 p.m., the Bradleys had yet to find any sign of Amy.
Gjerstad suggested that Amy could have fallen overboard. The Bradleys were dubious. Amy had no issue lounging on a chair on the balcony, but she wouldn’t go near the railing.
If Amy didn’t fall over by mistake, what happened to her? The ship’s kind-hearted staff suggested maybe Amy had jumped off, committing suicide. That didn’t ring true to the Bradleys.
Amy’s family insists she had no reason to run off. She was planning a life back in Virginia, with a new job at a computer company her aunt and uncle owned and a new home. Amy had no history of running away and would never have abandoned her family or pet bulldog, Bailey.
The Bradleys Leave Ship to Search for Amy in Curaçao
Another crew member thought maybe Amy had disembarked in Curaçao. The family left the ship to look for Amy. But by then, all government offices were closed. There was nothing they could officially do. They then called the FBI, who informed them it would take at least 24 hours for them to get someone on the island.
With the ship ready to leave for its next port of call, the Bradleys, who had grown frustrated with the ship’s officers and a company lawyer, decided to stay behind and continue searching for Amy.
But was this the best move? According to the FBI, their decision to stay behind in Curaçao might have been the wrong one. They informed the Bradleys that they had spoken to those in charge on the ship, and it turned out that they didn’t conduct a thorough search.
Despite having full access to the entire ship, Captain Gje