Search Continues For 2 Missing Persons On 2 Islands, VIPD Says
FREDERIKSTED — The Virgin Islands Police Department said it continues to search for two people who were reported missing recently.
80-year-old Michael “Dodor” Emmanuel was reported missing on February 19. Emmanuel is a Black male, standing around 5 feet 5 inches in height, and weighs approximately 150 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes, with a dark brown complexion. He was last seen on February 19 at around 6:45 a.m. at his residence in Canebrake Apartments, wearing a brown striped pajama pants, white vest, and no shoes. A $3,200 reward for information leading to his whereabouts has been offered.
41-year-old Sarm Joan Lillian Heslop was reported missing on March 8. Heslop is a Caucasian female, standing about 5 feet 7 inches in height. She has a tattoo on her left shoulder. She was last seen on March 7 aboard the vessel Siren Song, that was moored in Frank Bay, St. John.
U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said on Wednesday morning that Sector San Juan received a call from 44-year-old Ryan Bane at 11:46 a.m. Monday, “who reported that his girlfriend may have fallen from their 47-foot catamaran, the Siren Song, the night before.”
Bane said they had gone to sleep at around 10 p.m. and “at 2 a.m. he woke up and realized that she was not on board,” Castrodad said. “He stated that her belongings were still aboard the vessel, as far as her cellphone, shoes and purse.”
The vessel’s tender, or dinghy, was still tied up, he said.
The watch began with “a series of actions, notifications to partner agencies in the Virgin Islands,” and Castrodad said that “we do have indication that the person also reached out to 911,” in addition to calling the Coast Guard to report Heslop missing.
Investigators conducted drift analysis from the vessel that was reportedly anchored 50 yards from shore in Frank Bay and launched boat forces “that commenced a surface search of the shoreline, adjacent islands, and all the waters around and out to sea from where the vessel was located,” Castrodad said.
In addition, “we had a Coast Guard helicopter searching that afternoon and the search continued throughout the night,” Castrodad said. “Conditions were excellent as far as visibility, sea state, and there were no signs of anyone in the water.”
Investigators reached out to marine traffic in the area, but there were “no reports of anyone being found in the water,” he said. On Tuesday, “upon sunset the search was called off from that standpoint.”
Castrodad said there was no evidence that indicated Heslop entered the water, and no sign of her was found during the search.
V.I. Police are now the lead agency overseeing the investigation into Heslop’s disappearance, Castrodad said.
Police said a dive crew continued the search for Heslop on Wednesday without result.
Castrodad said the Coast Guard stands ready to assist in the search, but “at this point we haven’t received any additional information or evidence” that would trigger further action.
In terms of missing persons, “we take them all seriously and in this case, our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this person that at this point is missing, and we wish that they can get by through this difficult time,” Castrodad said.
Detectives are asking for the community’s assistance with information regarding the whereabouts of Emmanuel on St. Croix and Helsop on St. John. 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 or Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477.