A mystery blonde woman believed to be dining on board the Costa Concordia with Captain Francesco Shettino fewer than 30 minutes before the cruise ship crashed has been identifed as 25-year-old Domnica Cemotan, Italy’s Il Secolo reported (via New York Post).
Although Cemotan was initially thought to be on board without proper authorization, Costa Cruises has confirmed that she was travelling as a passenger representative, reports The Daily Mail.
Investigators are hopeful that the Moldovan crew member could serve as a key witness to the events leading up to the collision on the night of Jan. 13.
The young woman has also been defensive of the captain’s actions before the liner ran aground.
According to the AP, Cemotan told Moldova’s Jurnul TV, “He did a great thing, he saved over 3,000 lives.”
Six days after the Costa Concordia hit underwater rocks near the Tuscan island of Giglio, rescue crews are still searching for 21 missing people, while 11 have been confirmed dead.