Missing woman Sarm Heslop’s boyfriend replaced his ship’s freezer after she mysteriously vanished from luxe yacht: PI

Missing woman Sarm Heslop’s boyfriend replaced his ship’s freezer after she mysteriously vanished from luxe yacht: PI

After British flight attendant Sarm Heslop vanished from her boyfriend’s luxurious catamaran, the 47-foot Siren Song, he sailed out of U.S. territorial waters and had the freezer replaced in Grenada, according to her family’s private investigator.

Heslop was last seen alive three years ago Thursday, leaving a restaurant in the U.S. Virgin Islands with boyfriend Ryan Bane.

Searches of land and sea came up empty, and despite the mystery surrounding her disappearance, police never searched the vessel.

David Johnston, a decorated former London homicide squad commander and hostage negotiator, is assisting Heslop’s parents free of charge.

“We know he went to Grenada afterwards and had the freezer replaced on the boat. Why?” the Queen’s Police Medal recipient pondered in a phone interview. “We know he had other parts of the forecabin replaced. Why?”

Those questions remain unanswered because local police failed to obtain a search warrant for the vessel before Bane sailed out of their jurisdiction and is believed to have sold it, Johnston said.

Johnston told Fox News Digital Heslop’s parents now consider her the victim of foul play and not a missing person. But they have been cut off by the island’s police and political leadership, he said.

A photo of Sarm Heslop, a British woman, on a sailboat moored off St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sarm Heslop has been missing for three years. via REUTERS

“Sarm likely is dead, and her death was untimely and could have been a murder,” he said. “It could’ve been an accident, but no one will speak with us.”

He said he first offered his assistance to Heslop’s parents about 18 months ago and tried to engage USVI Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. and Virgin Islands Police Commissioner Ray Martinez. But he was unable to get results and says they’d stopped responding to the family and his own attempts at making contact.

“I’ve been spun along for the last 15 months by the governor and Ray Martinez, who said, ‘You’re welcome to come and look at the seat, but we’re not going to talk about the inquiry. It’s an active investigation, and we don’t discuss active investigations,” Johnston said. 

“OK, so what are you doing, actually? ‘Oh, we can discuss that.’ Well, there is nothing being done actively.”

Martinez has been criticized for failing to address “rampant crime” in the Caribbean nation, a U.S. territory, according to the Virgin Islands Consortium, a local newspaper. In November, he earned the ire of Virgin Islands lawmakers after snubbing them during a public safety hearing.

“Ray Martinez wasn’t in charge when Sarm disappeared, so he had the option, perhaps, to put right some of the things that weren’t right,” Johnston said.

Early missteps included failures to collect cellphone or location data from the yacht or devices belonging to Heslop or Bane, he said.

“At very minimum, [Bane] should have been interviewed under caution,” he added, referring to the British version of a Miranda warning.

“Who knows what happened on that boat?” he asked. “But from my experience of 30 years of being a cop, he is a person of significant interest, and he has some questions to answer. And until he does that, he should remain as the most likely suspect in her disappearance and possible death.”

A man with headphones and sunglasses on a boat, titled

Ryan Bane refused to let police search his boat after his girlfriend’s disappearance. Facebook

Glen Dratte, a spokesman for the department, dismissed the validity of private investigations in general.

“Question,” he wrote to Fox News Digital in an email. “Can a private investigator from the U.S. Virgin Islands go to Scotland Yard (U.K.) and conduct an Investigation?”

He said there have been no new developments in the case and that previously collected evidence has been shared with prosecutors.

“The Virgin Islands Police Department continues to keep our thoughts and prayers with the family, friends and colleagues of Sarm Heslop,” he added.

Although the boat is believed to have been sold, cleaned and partially remodeled, Johnston believes it may still have some forensic value if investigators sought to locate it.

As for Bane, he has returned to his home state of Michigan, where his ex-wife’s cousins confronted him last month after he approached them in a gym in Lake Orion.

The men said Bane approached one of them before they began taking pictures of him and asked if he’d “killed anyone lately.”

A white catamaran on the water.

Bane has since sold the yacht. MEGA

The yachtsman was convicted in 2011 of domestic violence against his wife at the time, Corie Stevenson, who came forward with her story after learning of the circumstances surrounding Heslop’s disappearance.

Bane and Heslop left the 420 for Center Bar in Cruz Bay around 10 p.m. March 7, 2021. Police have reviewed, but not publicly released, surveillance video that shows the couple headed to Bane’s dinghy a few minutes later. Around 2:30 a.m. the following morning, Bane called VIPD to report Heslop missing. He was told to alert the U.S. Coast Guard if she’d fallen overboard.

He called the USCG between nine and 10 hours later but refused to permit responding service members to search the cabin of his boat.

Then he hired the high-profile attorney David Cattie, who previously represented Jeffrey Epstein’s accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Cattie previously told Fox News Digital his client would return to the Virgin Islands if his presence was “legally required.”

“Mr. Bane had nothing to do with Sarm’s disappearance and remains heartbroken that she is missing,” he said.

Bane has not been charged with a crime in Heslop’s disappearance.

While the Virgin Islands Police Department has jurisdiction over local offenses, the FBI urges anyone who believes they are a witness or victim to a federal crime to call them directly at 1-800-CALL-FBI or to call the local field office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard says anyone who needs help in U.S. waters should reach out over VHF radio on channel 16 with their GPS location and the nature of their emergency. 


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