Man arrested for alleged murder in death of ex-wife aboard cruise ship

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. - A former Orange County attorney was arrested in Pasco County for the murder of his ex-wife aboard a cruise ship, authorities say.

Lonnie Kocontes was arrested at the Shops at Wiregrass Friday night by U.S. Marshalls. Kocontes is accused of strangling his ex-wife, Micki Kanesaki, while they were on a cruise in Italy back in May 2006.

Authorities say he  threw her body overboard and reported her missing. Kanesaki's body was discovered off the coast of Paola, Italy the same day Kocontes arrived back in the California.

Later when investigators questioned Kocontes about his estranged wife's death, he denied any involvement in Kanesaki's disappearance. He later moved to Safety Harbor, Florida where he was remarried.

In 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation accused Kocentes of attempting to illegally transfer more than $1 million between different accounts while with his new wife.

The United States District Attorney's Office (USAO)  seized the money from all of Kocentes bank accounts and a civil asset forfeiture case was filed with the US District Court for the Central District in California.

Over the next four years the USAO worked to get an additional criminal investigation into the case of Kaneski's murder.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department discovered additional evidence related to Kaneski's murder in 2012.

On February 13, the Orange County District Attorney's Office filed a murder case against Kocontes. Several different law enforcement agencies including U.S. Marshalls.

Kocontes was arrested Friday night in Safety Harbor.

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