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Laura StuardoROME — Investigators have launched an attempted murder investigation after a woman awoke from a six week coma and told police she hadn’t tried to kill herself by jumping off a cruise ship.

On July 19, the 53-year-old Laura Stuardo was on a cruise with her boyfriend, 55-year-old Giovanni Pia. The couple had booked the cruise in an attempt to fix their broken relationship.

While the ship was docked in a Norwegian port, Stuardo fell 115 feet from the couple’s cabin balcony into the fjord below. Pia would tell investigators that Stuardo had jumped off the balcony in an attempt to kill herself.

A camera on the ship contradicted that statement a bit, as it showed Stuardo hanging from the balcony for a few seconds before falling into the water. Other passengers described hearing a loud argument coming from the couple’s room shortly before Stuardo fell.

As for Stuardo, she wasn’t saying much at the time. Not because she was dead, though. Remarkably, she survived the fall but suffered injuries to her head, lung, stomach and spleen. She underwent multiple surgeries before being placed into a medically-induced coma.

Six weeks later she came out of it and was able to tell investigators that she did not jump from the balcony as Pia had claimed. She remembers arguing with Pia in their cabin and the fall itself, but that’s about it.

“I don’t remember if he pushed me, but I certainly didn’t want to commit suicide,” said Stuardo. “It was an extremely long drop. I screamed, then there was the impact with the water. I don’t remember anything else.”

She also said that the reason they were on the cruise to begin with was because Pia had beat her shortly after she and her teenage daughter moved in with him. The cruise was supposed to help things between them.

Based on her remarks, police have now opened an attempted murder investigation. Stuardo is not letting Pia visit her in the hospital, but is being visited regularly by her ex-husband, who she had been with for 25 years.

“I have given orders to police and doctors to stop any contact with Mr. Pia,” her ex-husband said. “In Oslo, I never lost sight for a minute, especially at night, of the mother of my daughter.”


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