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FBI investigating as search continues for missing cruise ship passenger

The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing its search for Ronnie Peale Junior after he reportedly fell overboard from Carnival Magic early Monday morning.

NORFOLK, Va. — The FBI has joined the investigation into how a man apparently fell overboard from a Carnival cruise ship as it was returning to Norfolk over the Memorial Day Weekend.

Ronnie Peale Junior, 35, was on board Carnival Magic when he is believed to have fallen overboard early on the morning of Monday, May 29, approximately 150 miles off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.

A Carnival Cruise spokesperson said surveillance footage ultimately showed Peale leaning over the railing of his balcony and falling into the water.

In a statement to 13News Now, a spokesperson for the FBI Norfolk office said the federal agency is now the lead investigating agency with the assistance of multiple other agencies. 

"The FBI typically has jurisdiction to investigate incidents on the high seas," the spokesperson said.

A source with direct knowledge of cruise line investigations tells 13News Now the ship’s chief security officer will review all CCTV from the time Peale entered the cruise terminal, and every day he was out of the stateroom, until the time he went overboard. The electronic key entry to the stateroom in question will be printed out and reviewed. 

The team of investigators will deploy a number of other tactics as they work to learn more about the night Peale went overboard.

The United States Coast Guard said on Wednesday that crews had covered more than 4,000 square miles and are continuing their search for Peale.

Carnival Magic arrived in Norfolk on Tuesday morning.

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