(OCHO RIOS, Jamaica) — Three Americans who failed to return to their Carnival Cruise ship after a stopover in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Thursday, were found safe and unharmed this afternoon at a villa in Discovery Bay — approximately 40 minutes west, on Jamaica’s northern coast.
The three passengers, whom the cruise line earlier identified as members of the same family, went missing after disembarking the Carnival Freedom for a day-long port call in Ocho Rios, the cruise line said in a statement obtained by ABC News.
Jamaican authorities had classified the disappearance as a missing persons case, saying it was odd that the family took all of their belongings off of the ship before vanishing. The family has no known ties to anyone in Jamaica.
It was not immediately clear why the family left the ship and never returned. They are in the custody of Jamaican police and will be questioned about their mysterious departure. Police have not yet said whether charges will be brought against the three passengers.
The ship left Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last Sunday for a six-day cruise. It is scheduled to return on Saturday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Andreas Preuss, CNN