Police looking for clues to the disappearance of missing Briton Sarm Heslop in the US Virgin Islands have limited their search to a series of uninhabited islands and bays, DailyMail.com can reveal.
Agents have also shifted their focus further inland, suggesting they no longer expect Sarm, 41, to wash up on the waterfront.
At this point, the possibility of finding a body washed ashore is considered very unlikely. That possibility has disappeared, ”said a well-placed source.
Areas searched include Steven Cay, a scrubby, rocky island about half a mile west of St. John, where Sarm lived on his catamaran with friend Ryan Bane before disappearing on March 8.
No one lives on the low-lying strip of land, but it is a popular tourist destination for diving, kayaking and snorkeling.
Police are also searching the north side of St. John, from Salomon Beach to Watermelon Cay, another small island, both of which can only be reached by small boat or by walking through Virgin Islands National Park.
The search for former flight attendant Sarm Heslop is in its third week, but to the frustration of her family in Southampton, England, she is still being treated as a missing person case rather than a criminal investigation.
Police looking for Sarm Heslop have limited their search to a series of uninhabited islands and bays, DailyMail.com can reveal. The areas searched include Steven Cay, Salomon Beach, and Watermelon Cay
Heslop, from Southampton, England, met boyfriend Ryan Bane on Tinder eight months ago. She disappeared from Siren Song, which was moored 30 yards from Frank Bay at the far western end of St. John on March 8th. The couple is in the picture together.
Aside from the three main islands of St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix, the US Virgin Islands are made up of 50 other surrounding islands and bays, most of which are uninhabited.
‘Many of the areas they are looking for cannot be reached by land at all. There are very few people there, just the rangers ‘houses and a few little tiki-style bars,’ the source added.
Bane claims girlfriend Sarm disappeared without a trace from his catamaran while it was anchored overnight in the U.S. Virgin Islands
The search for former flight attendant Sarm is in its third week, but to the frustration of her family in Southampton, England, she is still being treated as a missing person case rather than a criminal investigation.
And despite the fact that the police refused to talk to detectives or let them search his 47-ft yacht, Siren Song, the police did not declare Bane, 44, a suspect or any person or interest.
With no legal restrictions on his movements, he sailed away from Frank Bay, St. John last Wednesday night, hours after refusing to answer questions asked by a DailyMail.com reporter.
Sources say the Michigan resident is still in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but hopping from island to island while looking for a marina with an empty boat slip.
Investigators from the Virgin Islands Police Department need a warrant to search Siren Song, but shouldn’t get one just yet because they have no evidence of foul play.
Sarm met Bane on Tinder eight months ago and traveled to the Caribbean to work as a cook on his $ 500,000 ship, which he charters for over $ 2,000 a day.
The couple went out for dinner on March 7 and were last seen by a bartender in Cruz Bay, the main tourist hub in St. John.
Bane called at 1:30 am and said he had woken up 30 minutes earlier to find that Sarm was gone, but her belongings were still on board.
Police said they had first taken into account the events of the evening and urged him to call the US Coast Guard.
However, the call was not made until 11:46 am – more than nine hours later – and a massive search at sea and land failed to find any trace of Sarm.
Coast guards boarded Siren Song twice, but by the time detectives were asked to conduct a full search, Bane had solicited his right to remain silent and refused entry.
Ryan Bane declined to discuss the disappearance of his girlfriend Sarm Heslop last week when DailyMail.com confronted him on a remote beach in the US Virgin Islands. He is on the photo ashore on Wednesday
Bane was last seen on Wednesday afternoon taking a dinghy to the coast before returning to his 47-ft catamaran with a plastic bag, sneakers and towels and then sailing away and has not been seen since.
Bane’s boat is no longer in Frank Bay on Saint John in the US Virgin Islands early Thursday morning
Ryan Bane can be seen in his mugshot after he was arrested in 2011 for assaulting his ex-wife
A DailyMail.com investigation confirmed the couple at 420 to Center, a bustling dive bar, where friends say they were celebrating a successful charter.
In his initial report, Bane told the officers that they went back to the boat at 10 p.m., watched a movie, and then fell asleep.
Detectives supported by an FBI Task Force agent in nearby St. Thomas have obtained “hours of CCTV,” but have not yet found anything to verify Bane’s claim that he and Sarm went back to Siren Song together.
A good friend last week insisted that the rugged yacht skipper was not in hiding, but refused to speak to the island’s police officers because he did not trust them.
“My suggestion to him was that he make some statement and be as cooperative as possible,” said the friend. ‘But I think he’s scared, I think he’s going crazy. He must have been robbed. He had finally found a girl he was in love with.
I think his concern is that the VIPD isn’t really known for conducting any kind of research with clarity.
“He’s concerned that something could go wrong or go the wrong way, or that they are looking for something to involve him as opposed to the other way around.”
Corie Stevenson was married to fellow American Bane, 44, for six years and came forward to say her ex ‘went to jail for kicking my a **’
Last week, it was also revealed that Bane spent 21 days in prison in 2011 for assaulting his ex-wife, Corie Stevenson, while driving home from a wedding in Lake Orion, Michigan.
According to a police complaint, he became enraged and dragged her out of the truck before she hit her head against the dining room floor and knocked off one of her teeth.
“Corie’s right front had a chip that looked fresh,” Officer Vincent Lichok wrote. Her right earlobe was bloody and scratched. Her right shoulder and the right side of her neck were scratched in red. Her right eyelid was scratched and red. ‘
In the UK, Sarm’s haunted friends and family have pushed for answers in her disappearance, questioning Bane’s timeline, saying they find it ‘incredibly hard to believe’ that she fell off the boat.
“ We would like to be assured that the Virgin Islands authorities are doing everything they can to find her and that the investigation into the disappearance of our beautiful and cherished daughter includes an extensive fingertip investigation of the boat, ” said her parents, Peter Heslop and Brenda Street.