Within a period of half an hour, Amy Lynn Bradley went missing from her cruise ship cabin, never to be seen or heard from again.
Amy Lynn Bradley and her brother Brad shortly before her disappearance.
In the early morning of March 24, 1998, Amy Lynn Bradley was lounging peacefully on the balcony of her cruise ship’s cabin. Her father had woken up between 5:15 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. and noticed her, but decided to let her sleep a little longer. She had been out late the night before, dancing in the ship’s nightclub until the early hours of the morning.
When he came back at 6 a.m. to check on her, she was gone. In half an hour, Amy Lynn Bradley had managed to disappear, never to be heard from again.
Four days before Bradley’s disappearance, the family had boarded the Rhapsody of the Seas, a Caribbean cruise bound for The Antilles. The beginning of the cruise was uneventful as the family awaited docking in Curacao. The night before she disappeared, Bradley and her brother, Brad, visited the ship’s nightclub where a live band called Blue Orchid was playing.
According to Brad, he had left Amy at the club with one of the band’s members, known as Yellow, who claimed he had parted ways with her around 1 a.m. If her father’s report of seeing her on the balcony was correct, she was in her cabin for roughly four hours before going missing and disappeared in a very small window of time.
When her family found she was missing, they alerted the onboard authorities and begged them not to dock the ship, fearing it would give their daughter’s potential kidnapper a chance to escape. The crew allegedly refused to not dock the ship and wouldn’t even page Bradley until the ship was at port.
Once docked, the ship was thoroughly inspected, though the Bradley family pointed out that many passengers had already left the ship before the search was finished. In addition to the ship, the sea was searched as well, though authorities claimed that as a trained lifeguard, it was unlikely Bradley would have gone overboard without a trace.
Based on her brother’s account of the evening she disappeared, the Bradley family suspected the crew was involved in her disappearance. Brad claimed that the crew in the nightclub was giving her “special attention,” which led the family to believe one of them had smuggled her away, off the ship and into sexual slavery.
What Amy Lynn Bradley could look like today
The family’s fears of Amy being smuggled away were not unfounded. Though the initial investigation lead nowhere, several tourists and visitors to Curacao have claimed to have seen Amy Lynn Bradley over the years.
In August of 1998, five months after she went missing, two Canadian tourists spotted a woman who matched Amy’s description on a beach. The woman even had the same tattoos as Amy: a Tasmanian Devil with a basketball on her shoulder, a sun on her lower back, a Chinese symbol on her right ankle, and a lizard on her navel.
In 1999, a member of the Navy visited a brothel in Barbados and claimed to have run into Amy, or at least a woman claiming to be her. The sailor claimed that the woman told him her name was Amy Bradley and begged him for help, saying she was not allowed to leave the brothel.
Six years later, a woman claimed to have seen Bradley in a department store restroom in Barbados.
To add to the family’s distress, in 2005 the Bradley family received an email containing a photo of a woman who appeared to be Amy, lying on a bed in her underwear. A member of an organization that locates sex trafficking victims on adult websites noticed the photo and thought it could be Amy.
Today, the investigation into Amy Lynn Bradley’s disappearance is ongoing, though no new leads have popped up. The FBI and the Bradley family have both offered sizeable rewards for information on her whereabouts, though it seems for now that her disappearance remains a mystery.