The parents of a British woman who disappeared from the US Virgin Islands in March demanded answers on Friday in a case that went virtually nowhere and called on her boyfriend to allow police to carry out forensic research on the her yacht, where she lived.
“There are no words for our suffering,” Brenda Street and Peter Heslop said in a joint statement Friday. “We want, need and demand answers. “
Their daughter Sarm Heslop, 41, was last seen leaving 420 to Center bar in St. John around 10 p.m. on March 7 with her boyfriend, Ryan Bane, 44.
“When I got the phone call from Bane indicating that Sarm was missing, I had a complete collapse, crying, screaming and then numbness,” Street said. “I still don’t understand the time wasted contacting the Virgin Islands Coast Guard. If I had woken up to find my missing partner, aboard a boat, I would have screamed and screamed for attention, or even launched a rocket. is not it ? I will never forgive Bane for not protecting my daughter.
RYAN BANE LAWYER RESPOND TO USVI POLICE AFFIRMING HE LOST THE TRACK ‘MISSING SARM HESLOP BF
The two were staying on his 47-foot catamaran, the Siren Song, moored nearby. Bane reported Heslop’s disappearance to police at around 2:30 a.m. the next morning – but apparently did not call the U.S. Coast Guard to report that she may have exceeded limits before noon.
Heslop was a good swimmer, her parents said, and Frank Bay, where the boat was anchored about 100 yards offshore, is shallow and calm the night she went missing.
“My days are consumed by what happened between the hours between Bane finding Sarm missing and Bane calling the Coast Guard,” said Peter Heslop. “Why didn’t he yell for help or sound an alarm to warn the other two boats moored nearby that Sarm was missing?” … No one except Bane can explain why he called the Coast Guard only eight hours after talking to the police on the ground. “
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Through his lawyer, Bane maintained that he had nothing to do with Heslop’s disappearance and that the ordeal left him “devastated” and “heartbroken.”
Peter Heslop said Bane told him about his daughter’s disappearance on March 9. He said he was told they had gone out to dinner and returned to the boat to watch a movie.
“Bane alleged that [2 a.m.] he heard noises, went to the bridge to check, found nothing and came back to find Sarm missing, ”he said. “Ryan told me he reported Sarm missing to the police, but was told nothing could be done for 48 hours. “
Police told him to contact the US Coast Guard. The USCG said it received the call about “a possible person in the water” at around 11:45 a.m. A massive search for land and sea found nothing.
Almost five months later, with little progress in the investigation of the missing person, Heslop’s parents, friends and other relatives are increasingly anxious.
“When your daughter disappears from her boyfriend’s boat in the USVI, while she is moored 100 yards from shore, with no evidence, no clue and no response, it is the most traumatic, confusing and upsetting moment. you can imagine, ”Street said.
And the parents said they had received no explanation from the police or their daughter’s boyfriend “how a healthy young woman, her girlfriend, disappeared without a trace.”
“They say time heals, but not when your daughter is gone,” said Peter Heslop. “How can you move forward when you don’t have the answers to so many questions? “
In their quest for answers, Heslop’s parents ask Bane to voluntarily submit to a “full forensic investigation” of Sirensong – something he is not legally required to do. Bane has not been charged with a crime in connection with her disappearance, and police said in April she “would need probable cause” to compel a search.
“I’m asking Bane to come forward to allow for forensic research,” Street added. “He has a duty to protect the people on his boat and a search of his boat will surely only help him find his girlfriend and our daughter. “
Law enforcement experts said it should have been relatively easy for local police to obtain a search warrant for the boat.
“They have enough probable causes, I think,” Jerry Forrester, a former FBI agent and private investigator who has worked extensively in the Caribbean, told Fox News three weeks after the woman’s disappearance. “She disappeared, and she was on this boat. … They just aren’t doing their job. “
US VIRGIN ISLANDS MISSING SARM HESLOP: “NOT NORMAL” FOR POLICE NOT TO SEEK BOYFRIEND’S YACHT, SAYS EXPERT
Police have since said they have not concluded whether Heslop returned to Siren Song on the night of his disappearance, although in recent interviews they have started calling him a “person of interest”.
Bane was also convicted of domestic assault on his ex-wife Corie Stevenson in 2011 after police found her with a chipped tooth, scratches on her face and neck and other injuries. In several interviews, she claimed he was physically and verbally violent, quick to anger and “he would lie about anything”.
Police and prosecutors in the Virgin Islands did not respond to questions about their possible request for a warrant to search the Siren Song.
But investigators told Fox News last week that they wanted to speak with Bane again in connection with the case.
“As this is an ongoing investigation, the Virgin Islands Police Department maintains that we would like to question Ryan Bane as he was the last person to have been in contact with Ms Heslop,” the spokesperson said on Friday. word of VIPD, Toby Derima, to Fox News.
Bane has also been cited by the Coast Guard for allegedly blocking full access to his ship and other violations as part of a routine search after Heslop’s disappearance.
“Our boarding team were denied full access to perform a full safety check of the vessel by the operator,” said Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard, told Fox News last week. “This was an administrative boarding and therefore the penalties, although not yet fully imposed, are not of a criminal nature and are generally aimed at correcting a security gap. “
Bane’s attorney, David Cattie, countered that it was his client who called the Coast Guard on the catamaran to start.
“Several officers boarded the ship and they performed an on-site inspection of the ship and full sighted maintenance,” he said last Friday. “We have not received any preliminary assessment or fines for the alleged violations. If and when we receive one, we will respond accordingly. “
Cattie did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new statement from Heslop’s parents.
At the end of their statement, Heslop’s parents thanked the Coast Guard, Virgin Island Police and the local community for their assistance so far in the search for Sarm.
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Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the US Virgin Islands Police Department or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-TIPS.
Heslop is 5 feet 8 inches tall with a slim figure, brown hair, and a brightly colored tattoo on his left shoulder that features a seahorse, butterfly, bird, and rose flower.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe campaign to collect rewards for information that solves the case.