updated 12/7/2009 5:23:37 PM ET 2009-12-07T22:23:37

The FBI joined an international investigation Monday into the disappearance of an Italian chef who may have gone overboard during a Caribbean cruise.

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Federal agents got involved in the probe at the request of the Italian Consulate in Los Angeles, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

The family of 31-year-old Angelo Faliva was also expected to board the Princess Cruises' Coral Princess, which docked at the Port of Los Angeles on Monday morning, to talk to officials, cruise spokeswoman Julie Benson said.

Benson said Faliva was last seen on a deck the morning of Nov. 26 when he spoke with another crew member as the ship sailed from Aruba to Colombia. She said a search of the ship and a review of security cameras came up empty. Faliva's family, however, said it had been told he had unexpectedly left the galley the night before, while he was working the dinner shift, and never returned.

Princess Cruises said a life preserver was found missing, but the cruise line is not certain whether it had anything to do with his disappearance. The Faliva family said it was told the nighttime illumination flare was torn off the preserver and left aboard the ship.

Faliva's sister said the family suspects foul play because the chef was not suicidal.

Benson said Princess was providing the family all known details about when he was last seen.

Bermuda police are leading the investigation because Bermuda is the ship's flag state.

The Coral Princess left South Florida on Nov. 23.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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