Missing flight attendant family pleads with cops to release footage

Missing flight attendant family pleads with cops to release footage

November 1, 2022

Family of British flight attendant, 41, who vanished from her American boyfriend’s luxury catamaran in the US Virgin Island a year and a half ago pleads with cops to release final surveillance footage

  • Sarm Heslop went missing in the US Virgin Islands 20 months ago from a yacht
  • She was with her boyfriend Ryan Bane, 44, the only person of interest in the case
  • Police refused to release a copy of footage showing her last known whereabouts
  • They are also requesting US Virgin Islands Police accept assistance from the FBI

Friends and family of UK flight attendant Sarm Heslop, 41, who went missing in the US Virgin Islands a year-and-a-half ago on board her boyfriend’s luxury catamaran, are pleading with police to release surveillance footage showing her last known whereabouts.

Police showed video of Heslop to her parents, Peter Heslop and Brenda Street, from Essex, in March last year, but denied to give them a copy.

They say the footage contradicts what Heslop’s boyfriend, the only suspect in the case, told police after she disappeared.

‘In the CCTV footage Sarm is seen wearing skirt/shorts and a top but her boyfriend, Ryan Bane, told police and Sarm’s parents and friends that she was wearing a black dress with flowers on,’ a statement from Sarm’s friends reads, according to Fox News.

The parents also say they weren’t shown the whole video back in 2021, alleging that US Virgin Islands Police stopped the recording before the end.

Her parents travelled to the islands to seek answers on the anniversary of her disappearance in March 2022.

Since returning, they are requesting that US Virgin Islands Police accept an offer of assistance from the FBI, ‘to find answers to the disappearance of Sarm Heslop’.

Nearly 20 months after her disappearance, #FindSarm, the group of friends set up to publicize the search, say they feel abandoned by the USVI and UK authorities.

The family of missing Sarm Heslop (pictured) have pleaded with her boyfriend to come forward and give them answers after she disappeared from his boat in the Caribbean

 Heslop (left), 41, vanished on March 8, 2021, from Bane’s boat, which was moored off the US Virgin Islands. The 44-year-old Bane (right) said he had last seen Heslop onboard but would not allow police to search the vessel

Heslop, 41, vanished on March 8, 2021, from Bane’s boat (pictured), which was moored off the US Virgin Islands

Pictured: A map showing where the Siren Song was moored in the US Virgin islands when Sarm Heslop, 41, was reported missing on March 8, 2021. with American Ryan Bane, 44, telling officers that she may have fallen from the couple’s catamaran

Bane, 44, has not surfaced since detectives admitted losing track of him in early July.

Heslop, 41, vanished on March 8, 2021, from Bane’s boat, which was moored off the US Virgin Islands. 

Her parents are appealing for Bane to come forward and answer questions about her sudden disappearance.

According to Bane, the couple had dinner together on March 7 at around 10pm before returning to the catamaran where they watched a movie.

He claims he woke up at around 2am by the boat’s anchor alarm and found his girlfriend missing.

The US Coast Guard was alerted to Heslop’s disappearance at 11.46am, when Bane phoned the station reporting that ‘his girlfriend may have fallen’ from the yacht.

Bane said he had last seen Heslop onboard but has never allowed police to search the vessel.

But coast guard case logs and incident reports paint a different picture.

The documents state Bane was ‘heavily intoxicated’ when officers arrived on board on March 8, that he refused to provide paperwork, handed over expired credentials, blocked a doorway to prevent a search, and cited his right to remain silent.

Bane went between all the boats near his Leopard 4700 luxury catamaran off the coast of St John, asking for witnesses, but nobody was able to help, according to the logs.

A photo of Sarm Heslop, 41, is seen in downtown Cruz Bay in St. John, just a couple blocks from 420 to Center, a bar and restaurant, where Heslop was last seen

Heslop was last seen with Bane leaving dinner at the 420 to Center bar and restaurant (pictured) on the island of St John at about 10pm on March 7, 2021

However, many skippers said they did not know Heslop was missing until the following day.

Police issued a fresh appeal for Bane earlier this month, asking him to explain what happened on the night Sarm Heslop disappeared.

In March, lawyers representing Bane said that he is ‘devastated’ that his girlfriend is missing, but said he would not be speaking to the media.

A friend of Heslop’s said the former flight attendant met her boyfriend while she was in quarantine having sailed to the Caribbean with two friends in 2019.

The couple then locked-down together during the coronavirus pandemic.

Police have been unable to find any evidence that Heslop returned to the boat after the couple were seen leaving dinner at the 420 to Center bar and restaurant on the island of St John at about 10pm on March 7.

Ryan Bane has a conviction for assaulting his ex-wife. The booking photo from Bane’s 2011 domestic violence arrest is shown

Nor did they find any evidence that she had gone into the water. Her phone, passport and other belongings had reportedly been found on the catamaran.

Bane, who has a conviction for assaulting his ex-wife, was charged with obstructing law agents by refusing to let US Coast Guard officials search his boat.

When the officials boarded, Bane is reported to have stood in a doorway and told them they could not enter. He was handed a citation, which does not result in a criminal record.

The investigation has been further complicated by a power outage knocking out CCTV in the bar where the couple was last seen.

Divers from various law enforcement agencies have searched hundreds of square feet of water for Heslop.

Volunteers from the Virgin Islands have also scoured the area around Cruz Bay during daylight hours, police said.

Friends and family have said Heslop would not have abandoned her life freely or without contacting any of her loved ones. Some have expressed disbelief that she might have fallen overboard.

Her parents said in March that they would ‘never give up’ looking for her and still hoped to find her alive.

In May, Heslop’s friends set up a GoFundMe page to provide a reward for information and to cover her parent’s travel costs to reach the islands.

The page had beaten its £10K goal to raise £10,486 at the time of writing.

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