LOS ANGELES -- The family of a missing Italian chef, who may have gone overboard during a 15 day Princess Cruise, arrived in Los Angeles looking for answers into the disappearance of 31 year old Angelo Faliva.

The cruise line says Faliva was last seen at 8:30 a.m. on November 26 on the deck of the Coral Princess as it sailed from Aruba to Cartagena, Colombia. A search of the ship and a review of security cameras came up empty, according to spokeswoman Julie Benson. A life preserver was found to be missing, but it's unclear if it is related to Faliva, Benson said.

Faliva's sister, Chiara Faliva, flew to Los Angeles from Italy to meet with authorities. She is now en route to Cartagena in a search for more information.

"My brother was happy," his sister Anna Faliva said telling authorities the family kept in contact with him by e-mail. "He loved his job and life."

The probe into Faliva's disappearance was initiated Monday morning after the Princess Cruises' Coral Princess docked at the Port of Los Angeles.

Faliva's family says they were told he unexpectedly left the galley about 8:15 p.m. November 25 while working the dinner shift and never returned.

The ship left South Florida on Nov. 23.

The family suspects that there was an accident or homicide. They say they were told a life preserver was also missing from the ship with its nighttime illumination flares torn off and left aboard the ship.

The commander of the Colombian Coast Guard station in Cartagena, Lt. Javier Sanchez, said officials there received a report from the "Coral Princess" at 10 a.m. Thursday that one of the cooks had last been seen the night of Nov. 25 between 7-8 p.m. when the ship was navigating Colombian waters near La Guajira.

But like the Princess spokeswoman, he too said the Coast Guard received word from the ship later Thursday that a person had seen the chef Thursday morning.

The ship docked in Cartagena at 10 a.m. Thursday. By 3 p.m., the Coast Guard began searching for the chef, using a helicopter and two boats.

An Italian Foreign Ministry official, speaking on customary condition of anonymity, said Italian embassy officials in Bogota were working with Colombian maritime authorities conducting the search and that the FBI was expected to investigate as well since the ship is part of the U.S.-based Carnival Corp. cruise empire.

The family is hoping Venezuelan maritime authorities also will take part in the search since the ship passed through Venezuelan waters during the time Faliva is believed to have gone overboard.

The FBI released this statement Monday morning:

"Investigative authorities with the government of Bermuda are handling the investigation into the disappearance of Mr. Faliva to determine if foul play factored in or not. At the request of the Italian Consulate, the FBI responded to the cruise when it docked this morning in San Pedro, California, to offer support to authorities from Bermuda. Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol also responded this morning and offered support. Additional inquiries should be directed to authorities in Bermuda, who are leading the investigation based on established jurisdiction."