Missing Briton friend Sarm Heslop was charged with hindering law enforcement officers boarding his yacht hours after she disappeared in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it has been revealed.
Ryan Bane, 44, was handed a quote – no criminal record – for refusing to allow the US Coast Guard onto his yacht, Siren Song, on the afternoon of March 8 – the day after Ms. Heslop disappeared.
It’s because the couple’s boyfriend, Kate Owen, who moved to the Caribbean 15 months ago with Ms. Heslop, reportedly said she doesn’t understand why Mr. Bane refuses to cooperate with detectives.
Mr. Bane told investigators that he and Ms. Heslop had been drinking drinks in Frank’s Bay, St. John, before returning to his catamaran on the night of March 7, and woke up in the early hours to find her gone.
But while a search was made at sea for Mrs. Heslop, Mr. Bane told the officers that they could not get into his 46ft catamaran.
Sarm Heslop, right, is pictured with her best friend Kate Owens. The couple moved to the Caribbean together 15 months ago
Ryan Bane and an unknown woman post for a photo on a dinghy
Bane’s 46ft yacht Siren Song. He is said to have departed with the ship last Thursday and federal officers chartered their own boat to track him down
“The operator refused entry inland and was quoted for obstruction of a boarding, in addition to other safety quotes that were not spoken,” said the coast guard. The times
Quotations are written notices of non-compliance for an alleged violation, they do not count as a criminal record.
The American Bane reportedly sailed away from the US Virgin Island last Thursday and the FBI sent ships to find him.
It’s because the couple’s boyfriend, Ms. Owen, demanded answers in the investigation.
Mrs. Owen has told friends she doesn’t understand why Mr. Bane isn’t contacting her or why he’s refusing to cooperate with detectives. The mirror reported.
She is helping to find Ms. Heslop in the Caribbean and wrote online: “She is a daughter, a sister, a niece and an aunt. A godmother, a friend, a colleague and my best friend.
In his initial conversations with the VIPD, Bane (pictured) said he had finished eating and went straight back to his boat with Sarm at 10:00 PM.
‘We are not leaving quietly, we need a thorough investigation, we deserve answers. She deserves answers. ‘
Another friend of Mrs. Heslop’s, Anna Wilson, said she was concerned about claims that Mr. Bane refused to speak.
Mrs. Wilson, for whom Mrs. Heslop was a bridesmaid, told The Mirror, “Ryan was in touch with Kate [Owens] in the early stages, but disconnected. ‘
When asked what Mr. Bane had told Mrs. Owens, Mrs. Wilson said, “He just said everything was fine and they were going out to dinner and then took the dinghy back to the boat.
Nothing seemed inappropriate. They went back to the boat around 10pm and watched a movie. Ryan said he woke up and realized she was gone, but her phone and wallet were still on the boat. ‘
In the search for answers, the police are looking through CCTV from the island to track down Ms. Heslop’s movements that night to verify his story. The Telegraph reports.
Tony Derima, a spokesman for the Virgin Islands Police Department, said, “So far there is nothing to confirm that the couple went back to the yacht together that night.”
Agents are in the process of verifying Mr. Bane’s account of the night’s events and trying to confirm if Sarm was on the dinghy returning to the luxury yacht that night.
The latest development comes as it was revealed that the FBI started a hunt for Ryan Bane (pictured) after he left the US Virgin Islands on Thursday.
Heslop (pictured) met Bane on Tinder eight months ago and traveled to the Caribbean to work as a cook on Siren Song
Bane claimed he was awakened at 2am by an anchor alarm, which triggers an alert if the boat strays from its position, and found that Mrs. Heslop (pictured together) was gone
Detectives also reportedly plan to interview staff at 420 to Center, a dive bar popular with locals of St. John, where the couple visited.
Federal agents chartered a boat to try to track down Mr. Bane, who disappeared from St. John, where his luxury yacht was anchored for several weeks, according to the New York Post
Mr. Bane was last seen on Wednesday afternoon as he went to the coast in a dinghy before returning to his 14-meter catamaran with a plastic bag, sneakers and towels.
His yacht had been anchored in the same remote spot in Frank Bay for weeks, but was gone by Thursday morning.
Authorities need a search warrant to board the $ 500,000 ship, but they shouldn’t get one yet because Ms. Heslop’s disappearance has not been identified as a criminal investigation.
Bane was last seen on Wednesday afternoon (above) returning to his boat. Federal agents chartered a boat to try to track him down after he disappeared from St. John on Thursday, where his luxury yacht was anchored for several weeks.
Ms. Heslop met Mr. Bane on Tinder eight months ago and traveled to the Caribbean to work as a cook at Siren Song, which he charters for over $ 2,000 a day.
Friends say the couple took their dinghy to Cruz Bay, the island’s main tourist attraction, for dinner and drinks on March 7 to celebrate a successful charter.
Mr. Bane claimed he was awakened at 2 AM by an anchor alarm, which triggers an alert if the boat drifts from its position, and found that she was gone.
Police say Mr. Bane was advised to call the US Coast Guard, but it was later revealed that they had not received the emergency call until 11:46 am – more than nine hours later.
Coast guards boarded Siren Song twice, but when detectives asked for a full forensic investigation to be carried out, Mr. Bane exercised his constitutional right to say no, reportedly on the advice of his attorney, David Cattie.
He was likewise reluctant to talk about the night Ms. Heslop disappeared when DailyMail.com caught up with him ashore on Wednesday, denouncing questions by saying ‘no comment’ four times.