GAME ON! FBI Joins VIPD Investigation of Disappearance of Sarm Heslop On St. John
CRUZ BAY — The FBI is on the case of the disappearance of British national Sarm Heslop in St. John.
That’s according to The Independent and The Telegraph newspapers based in London, United Kingdom.
The Virgin Islands Police Department told the Virgin Islands Free Press today that it had reached out to “all federal partners” after Heslop went missing.
“The VIPD has reached out for assistance from all our federal partners, including the FBI,” VIPD spokesman Toby Derima said this afternoon.
Sarm Joan Lillian Heslop, 41, has been missing from a 47-foot catamaran called the “Siren Song” since March 7.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has agents based in the U.S. Virgin Islands year-round and some of them have descended upon the 420 to Center diner in Cruz Bay to ask restaurant staff how Bane and Heslop acted together drinking alcohol the last time Sarm was seen alive in public.
“The couple were here. But I can’t say anything yet because the FBI want to interview me,” the 420 to Center staff member told The (London) Independent.
The involvement of federal investigators comes after Heslop’s family published a statement to the Facebook group “Missing Person: Sam Heslop”, asking for assurances authorities in the territory “are doing everything possible to find her.”
The VIPD said Tuesday that it continues to search for Heslop and one other person reported missing in the USVI in the last two months.
“Detectives are asking for the community’s assistance with information regarding the whereabouts of Emmanuel on St. Croix and Helsop on St. John.,” police said. “If you have information on either of their whereabouts, you are urged to call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau on St. Croix at (340) 778-2211 or on St. Thomas at (340) 774-2211.
The local police department has worked closely with federal authorities during investigations after the hiring of Police Commissioner Trevor A. Velinor in September of 2019. Velinor’s salary is paid for by the U.S. government. He is a former ATF agent.
Bane, whose boat is based out of Lake Orion, Michigan, had reportedly met Heslop on the dating app Tinder last summer.
Stevenson said Bane was jailed for 21 days after pulling her from a truck and throwing her to the ground face-first, chipping a tooth and bloodying her face. Afterwards, his former wife said she slept with a shotgun under her pillow, always living in fear of his “Jekyll and Hyde”-type personality.
“He was a total Jekyll and Hyde character,’ she said. ‘He would have a good week, and then all of a sudden he changed” Stevenson told The (London) Daily Mail. “There was never a day when I didn’t fear him. I slept with a shotgun the whole time I went through my divorce.”
Meanwhile, St. John diver Jeff Jones who has been involved in the sea search for Heslop told Fox News that the VIPD brought detectives from St. Croix to assist in the land search for Sarm using drone technology.
The disappearance of Heslop has quickly become one of the most closely-watched crime-missing persons stories in U.S. Virgin Islands history.
Websites catering to couch potato detectives such as Websleuths are brimming with theories about whodunnit daily.
So far, the investigation into the British’s woman’s disappearance has yet to be officially categorized as “criminal” case by the VIPD and FBI.
Police have not named any suspects in Heslop’s disappearance.