Cruise company chief found dead

Published April 8, 2007

MIAMI - The president of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises was found dead in a hotel room, police said.

Daniel Richard Burke, 49, died March 27 after spending the night at the Biscayne Inn, according to Miami police reports.

Burke was taken to a hospital that day after Barbara A. Silvetti, 37, awoke to find him not breathing, police said.

Silvetti told detectives she spent a night of drinking and using drugs with Burke, the reports said.

Burke was officially pronounced dead at the hospital, but it took nine days for his family to find out he had died.

Detectives made at least six failed attempts in five days to reach Burke's wife, Dahl Wiessman Burke, said Delrish Moss, a Miami police spokesman.

His parents eventually hired a private detective, who located the body at the Medical Examiner's Office.

Burke's family, which includes his father Mike Burke, founder of Windjammer, and mother June Burke, said Friday night they were too upset to comment on their son's death.

The Miami Beach cruise line was founded in 1947 and operates tall-masted sailboats on various itineraries in the Caribbean.

Daniel Burke lived in a waterfront home worth $2.2 million on Star Island, according to the Property Appraiser's Office. He had been arrested twice on drug charges but adjudication was withheld both times, court records showed.

Silvetti has faced numerous charges of drug possession and petty larceny, according to court records.