Ship Docks in Houston with Body on Board

By Dale Lezon – Houston Chronicle

U.S. officials are investigating the death of a sailor whose body was found aboard a Ukranian cargo ship days before it docked at the Houston Ship Wednesday night.

The man, a Ukrainian national, was discovered dead New Year’s Eve while the cargo ship was at sea, said Shauna Dunlap, spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is handling the case.

The FBI is trying to determine how the man died, Dunlap said. No signs of a gunshot or stab wound appear on the body, she added. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

Dunlap said the FBI was alerted about the death Wednesday night and that the ship later docked at the Port of Houston about 9 p.m. She said crew members told investigators they found the man dead.

Dunlap said the FBI also is trying to determine what law enforcement agency has jurisdiction in the case because the death occurred while the ship was in international waters.

The FBI has jurisdiction in U.S. waters.