The parents of a Santa Monica man suspected of pushing his wife of one week over the side of a cruise ship said Monday that the couple "acted like lovebirds" virtually from the moment they met little more than a year ago.
"He kept telling her, 'I love you, but I have no money,' and she would always answer, 'I love you and we don't need any money,' " Sy Roston said in a telephone interview from his Florida home. "We believe there was foul play, but in our hearts we know it wasn't our son (responsible)."
Scott Robin Roston, 36, of Santa Monica, was arrested in Long Beach on Saturday by federal authorities on suspicion of murder and is being held without bail at the Terminal Island detention center.
The body of Karen Waltz Roston, 26, was found by the U.S. Coast Guard about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 hours after she was reported overboard, Coast Guard officer Reid Crispino said. The couple were aboard the Star Dancer, operated by Admiral Cruises of Miami, which was returning to the Port of Long Beach after a weeklong cruise to Mexico.
The couple were married in Las Vegas on Feb. 4. The two had won the cruise in a contest and decided to make it a honeymoon, Sy Roston said.
"When he called me Saturday night, he was in shock," Sy Roston said of his son. "All he said was 'Karen, Karen, Karen. . . . Dad, Dad, Dad.' . . . This whole thing is mind-boggling."
Scott Roston told authorities that a strong wind blew his wife over the side of the ship. But Crispino said winds were only about 6 m.p.h., "not much wind at all."
Moved to California
Scott Roston, a chiropractor, came to Southern California from Florida in June with hopes of advancing his career, his mother Sophia said. Karen Roston visited him twice here before they were married.
Karen Roston was employed as a masseuse at the time they met in Florida. Rosten had fallen down a flight of stairs and injured himself, and Karen treated him twice weekly as part of his physical therapy.
The Rostons say Karen's treatments helped their son recover.
A spokesman for the San Diego coroner's office said an autopsy was performed Sunday on Karen, and although he would not elaborate on the details of her death, he said it "did occur under very suspicious circumstances."
One passenger on the ship, an assistant chief deputy in the Cook County, Ill., Sheriff's Department, said later that morning, when he went for a stroll around the same area where Karen Roston went overboard, he noticed part of an earring and some hair and reported it to ship officials.