ANCHORAGE - The woman believed to have fallen overboard from a cruise ship into frigid Alaska waters was 45-year-old Amber Malkuch of Washington state, Alaska State Troopers said late Monday.
Malkuch was reported missing by a traveling companion Monday morning when the Holland America ship Zaandam was in Glacier Bay National Park, about 75 miles northwest of Juneau. She was last seen hours earlier after she ordered room service, when the vessel was near Alaska's Douglas Island.
A woman's body was found Monday afternoon after a massive search but troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said that body hasn't been positively identified. However, Coast Guard Lt. Nathaniel Johnson in Juneau said Monday night his agency has suspended its search.
Malkuch was traveling on a seven-day cruise that left Seattle on Friday.
State troopers planned to meet the cruise ship when it docks Tuesday in Sitka, Ipsen said, adding they would be talking to the woman's companion and anyone else who could help explain how she disappeared off the vessel.
The body was taken to Juneau for positive identification. Ipsen said an autopsy would be standard procedure.
The crew of a commercial helicopter operated by Ketchikan-based TEMSCO Helicopters that was helping in the search found the body at about 4:30 p.m. Monday on the west side of Douglas Island. That's about 12 miles northwest of where the passenger was last seen, Chief Petty Officer Dana Warr said.
Warr said there was no immediate sign of foul play or indication that any of the Zaandam's survival gear was missing.
Footage from the ship's security cameras will likely be reviewed, Warr said, adding much remains unknown about the circumstances of the disappearance.
Seattle-based Holland America Line said in a statement that the woman was reported missing at about 9 a.m. Monday by the person she was sharing a room with. Warr said it was unclear why that person didn't report her missing earlier.
Holland America spokeswoman Sally Andrews did not return several calls late Monday seeking additional information, including confirmation of Malkuch's hometown.
Ipsen said she did not have a hometown for the missing woman.
The 780-foot-long Zaandam has a capacity for about 1,430 passengers and 600 crew members.
Monday's search, which included a Coast Guard helicopter, focused on a vast region surrounding Douglas Island and the national park, which are 80 miles apart, Warr said. The glacier-fed waters in the area are 57 degrees.