Detective Urges Boyfriend of Missing British Woman from Yacht to Come Forward

Credits: The Sun

Sarm Heslop, 41, disappeared from her American boyfriend Ryan Bane’s 47-foot luxury catamaran Siren Song on 8 March 2021. The former flight attendant had been working as a chef on Mr. Bane’s boat after the couple met on Tinder eight months prior. They had dinner at bar 420 at the Center on St John before returning to the £500,000 catamaran.

Sarm Heslop’s mother, Brenda Street, believes her daughter was murdered but does not accuse Mr. Bane of any involvement in her death.

However, it has come to light that Mr. Bane blocked Ms. Street 48 hours after telling her he was doing everything possible to find her off the coast of St John in the US Virgin Islands, according to a former detective involved in the case. There has been no direct contact since.

Missing British Woman (Credits: The Independent)

Mr. Bane, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, failed to allow a forensic search of his yacht, according to a US Defense Department report. The Virgin Islands Police Department has previously appealed for Mr. Bane to cooperate with the investigation.

Retired Scotland Yard David Johnston, who has been working pro bono with the family, emphasized the need for justice for Sarm. He stressed that the last person to have seen her alive, Ryan Bane, should provide a full account of what happened on the boat and submit his boat for forensic investigation.

Mr. Johnston described the search for Sarm as “pathetic, unprofessional, and underwhelming” and urged Mr. Bane to cooperate fully with authorities. He also noted that Mr. Bane blocked Sarm’s mother on WhatsApp and social media just two days after her disappearance.

In his initial statement, Mr. Bane said the couple watched Netflix and fell asleep, and he discovered Sarm missing when he woke up to the anchor alarm. Ms. Heslop’s wallet, passport, and phone were left on board, leading Mr. Bane to believe she might have fallen overboard.

Ms. Heslop’s family has written to Foreign Secretary David Cameron to seek his involvement and pressure the US Virgin Islands to properly investigate her case.

Mr. Bane’s lawyer, David Cattie, expressed Mr. Bane’s heartbreak over Sarm’s disappearance and emphasized his cooperation with authorities, including immediately calling 911 upon realizing she was missing and providing all of Sarm’s belongings to the police.