VANISHED WITHOUT A TRACE: Ryan Bane Sailed For Dinner In St. Thomas On Night Sarm Heslop Went Missing
CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Before going missing, Sarm Heslop sailed to St. Thomas with her boyfriend Ryan Bane to have dinner at a restaurant in French Bay, authorities said.
It was the last time that the 41-year-old Heslop would be seen in public with the 44-year-old Bane on the night she disappeared — March 7.
The timeline Bane gave to authorities stated that the Michigan native and his British girlfriend had sailed back from St. Thomas to Frank Bay in St. John in order for the two of them to be safely in bed at 10 p.m. two Sundays ago.
Bane said that when he awakened at 2 a.m. on March 8 — is the first time he noticed that Sarm Joan Lillian Heslop of Southampton was no longer on the boat. He also said that she “might have fallen off.”
But it took the charter boat captain nearly 10 hours to call the Virgin Islands Police Department and report Sarm’s disappearance at 11:46 a.m. that day — March 8.
According to published reports, Bane has not granted access to the VIPD to search his 47-foot catamaran Siren Song ever since Heslop disappeared.
The distance between St. Thomas and St. John is about six and a half miles — making the round trip there and back — 13 miles at sea … at night.
If Heslop “fell overboard” at the halfway point between St. Thomas and St. John — even if Sarm were a strong swimmer (and if she had just eaten dinner she would have been more susceptible to cramping) — she would have then had a three-mile-plus swim back to shore on either island — at night with low visibility.
Meanwhile, some of Bane’s friends were quick to defend him.
“The last message I had from him was ‘I’m in pieces’,” Flora Pickard told The London Times. “He is totally distraught. He doesn’t like being in the public spotlight, it’s not his style. “He just pursues his dream of living quietly on a yacht with his dog. He really is so confused.”
French Bay is located between Bolongo and Bellevue southeast of Havensight in St. Thomas.
VIPD spokesman Toby Derima acknowledged that police have searched areas beyond the island of St. John when looking for Heslop.
Derima did not immediately return a request for comment from the Virgin Islands Free Press.
But the VIPD told The (London) Telegraph that the boat the missing woman was living on will be searched “eventually.” The response comes one week after her disappearance.
Police here have been heavily criticized for failing to search the yacht where Sarm Heslop resided with her boyfriend Ryan Bane.