Sylvester Butler Jnr, who mysteriously vanished two years ago while on a cruise ship bound for Sydney, could have taken his own life by throwing himself overboard, a NSW Coroner has found.
The 60-year-old US citizen, was last seen on May 1, 2017 by a steward on board the Golden Princess cruise ship which was voyaging from Vanuatu towards Sydney.
Deputy State Coroner Elaine Truscott found on Thursday that Mr Butler died between May 1 and May 3 while at sea, but was not able to determine the manner and cause of his death.
The ships' CCTV system has not been able to reveal when and where his last movements were.
"This case raises the possibility that Mr Butler has taken his own life by deliberately going overboard" between the ship's last port in Fiji and before its arrival in Sydney, Ms Truscott said.
He was suffering a genetic kidney disease, which his two brothers had previously died of.
However there was no evidence that his medical condition had deteriorated or that it had become terminal, Ms Truscott said in her findings.
Mr Butler also had medication, including blood pressure medication, and it would seem unlike him to not return to his room to take the medication" if he intended to complete his cruise," Ms Truscott said.
He did not go on shore at any of the ports where the ship stopped, and Ms Truscott said she was satisfied Mr Butler was not on board when the ship landed in Sydney on May 4.
Overall there was insufficient evidence to determine definitively that he took his own life, she found.
But Ms Truscott found there was no evidence that he met foul play and his reserved nature would suggest that misadventure is unlikely.
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.