Sarm Heslop’s family plead with her boyfriend to ‘come forward’ and give them ‘answers’


The family of missing Sarm Heslop have pleaded with her boyfriend to come forward and give them answers after she disappeared from his boat in the Caribbean.

Ryan Bane, 44, is the only person of interest in the case but has not surfaced since detectives admitted losing track of him in early July. 

Heslop, 41, vanished on March 8 from Bane’s boat, which was moored off the US Virgin Islands.

Her parents are appealing for Bane to come forward and answer questions about her sudden disappearance. 

‘They say time heals — but not when your daughter is missing. How can you move on when you have no answers?’, her father Peter Heslop said.

‘We want, need and deserve answers as to what happened to our daughter, sister and friend. We ask Bane to come forward to help us find those answers’.

The family of missing Sarm Heslop (pictured) have pleaded with her boyfriend to come forward and give them answers after she disappeared from his boat in the Caribbean

The family of missing Sarm Heslop (pictured) have pleaded with her boyfriend to come forward and give them answers after she disappeared from his boat in the Caribbean

Heslop (left), 41, vanished on March 8 from Bane's boat, which was moored off the US Virgin Islands. The 44-year-old Bane (right) said he had last seen Heslop onboard but would not allow police to search the vessel

 Heslop (left), 41, vanished on March 8 from Bane’s boat, which was moored off the US Virgin Islands. The 44-year-old Bane (right) said he had last seen Heslop onboard but would not allow police to search the vessel

Heslop’s mother Brenda Street said the mystery surrounding her daughters sudden disappearance was ‘traumatising, confusing and upsetting’. 

She called on Bane to answer for discrepancies in the case, such as the time he took to contact the coast guard and his failure to raise the alarm as soon as he realised his girlfriend was missing.        

According to Bane, the couple had dinner together on March 7 at around 10pm before returning to the catamaran where they watched a movie. 

He claims he woke up at around 2am by the boat’s anchor alarm and found his girlfriend missing. 

The US Coast Guard was alerted to Heslop’s disappearance at 11.46am, when Bane phoned the station reporting that ‘his girlfriend may have fallen’ from the yacht. 

Bane said he had last seen Heslop onboard but has never allowed police to search the vessel. 

The search for former flight attendant Sarm Heslop continues but, to the frustration of her family back in Southampton, England, is still being treated as a missing person case rather than a criminal inquiry

Heslop’s mother Brenda Street said the mystery surrounding her daughters sudden disappearance was ‘traumatising, confusing and upsetting’

Heslop, 41, vanished on March 8 from Bane's boat (pictured),  which was moored off the US Virgin Islands

Heslop, 41, vanished on March 8 from Bane’s boat (pictured),  which was moored off the US Virgin Islands

Pictured: A map showing where the Siren Song was moored in the US Virgin islands when Sarm Heslop, 41, was reported missing on March 8, with American Ryan Bane, 44, telling officers that she may have fallen from the couple's catamaran

Pictured: A map showing where the Siren Song was moored in the US Virgin islands when Sarm Heslop, 41, was reported missing on March 8, with American Ryan Bane, 44, telling officers that she may have fallen from the couple’s catamaran

But coast guard case logs and incident reports seen by The Times paint a different picture. 

The documents state Bane was ‘heavily intoxicated’ when officers arrived on board on March 8, that he refused to provide paperwork, handed over expired credentials, blocked a doorway to prevent a search, and cited his right to remain silent. 

Bane went between all the boats near his Leopard 4700 luxury catamaran off the coast of St John, asking for witnesses, but nobody was able to help, according to the logs. 

However, many skippers told The Times they did not know Heslop was missing until the following day. 

Police issued a fresh appeal for Bane earlier this month, asking him to explain what happened on the night Sarm Heslop disappeared.

Bane (pictured) told investigators they had returned to his catamaran that night and he awoke in the early hours to find his girlfriend gone

Bane (pictured) told investigators they had returned to his catamaran that night and he awoke in the early hours to find his girlfriend gone

Ryan Bane and an unknown woman post for a photo on a dinghy

Ryan Bane and an unknown woman post for a photo on a dinghy 

However, Bane has not surfaced since detectives admitted losing track of him in early July.

‘We have been keeping track of Ryan Bane but right now we don’t know where he is,’ USVI police department spokesman Toby Derima said.

‘I appeal to him now to contact us. I want to appeal to his conscience, to let us know what happened the night Sarm disappeared.’

Derima added that police believed Bane could be on another Caribbean island.

‘He is a person of interest to us and he is the only person of interest. We are not looking for anyone else.’

His lawyer David Cattie has pushed back on claims Bane has gone ‘missing’, telliong Fox News he ‘personally advised law enforcement of Mr. Bane’s movements while in the Territory and about his departure from the U.S. Virgin Islands’.

‘I further advised law enforcement that if Mr. Bane’s presence is legally required in the Territory, he will return upon such a demand’, he added.   

Missing girlfriend Sarm Helsop

Ryan Bane

In March, lawyers representing Ryan Bane said that he is ‘devastated’ that his girlfriend Sarm Helsop was missing, but said he would not be speaking to the media

Heslop was last seen with Bane leaving dinner at the 420 to Center bar and restaurant (pictured) on the island of St John at about 10pm on March 7

Heslop was last seen with Bane leaving dinner at the 420 to Center bar and restaurant (pictured) on the island of St John at about 10pm on March 7

In March, lawyers representing Bane said that he is ‘devastated’ that his girlfriend is missing, but said he would not be speaking to the media. 

A friend of Heslop’s said the former flight attendant met her boyfriend ‘at some point last year’ while she was in quarantine having sailed to the Caribbean with two friends in 2019. 

The couple then locked-down together during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Police have been unable to find any evidence that Heslop, from Southampton, returned to the boat after the couple were seen leaving dinner at the 420 to Center bar and restaurant on the island of St John at about 10pm on March 7.

Nor did they find any evidence that she had gone into the water. Her phone, passport and other belongings had reportedly been found on the catamaran. 

Bane, who has a conviction for assaulting his ex-wife, was charged with obstructing law agents by refusing to let US Coast Guard officials search his boat.

Ryan Bane has a conviction for assaulting his ex-wife

Ryan Bane has a conviction for assaulting his ex-wife

When the officials boarded, Bane is reported to have stood in a doorway and told them they could not enter. He was handed a citation, which does not result in a criminal record.

The investigation has been further complicated by a power outage knocking out CCTV in the bar where the couple was last seen. 

Divers from various law enforcement agencies have searched hundreds of square feet of water for Heslop. 

Volunteers from the Virgin Islands have also scoured the area around Cruz Bay during daylight hours, police said.  

‘We want more than anything to find out what happened to Sarm and to help her family,’ Derima said. 

Friends and family have said Heslop would not have abandoned her life freely or without contacting any of her loved ones. Some have expressed disbelief that she might have fallen overboard. 

Her parents said in March that they would ‘never give up’ looking for her and still hoped to find her alive. 

Kate Owen, a friend of the couple who moved with Heslop to the Caribbean 15 months ago, reportedly said Bane has stopped contacting her.

In May, Heslop’s friends set up a GoFundMe page to provide a reward for information and to cover her parent’s travel costs to reach the islands.

As of the morning of July 23, it had reached £8,691 of its £10,000 goal.    

Heslop (right) is pictured with her friend Kate Owen. The pair moved to the Caribbean together 15 months ago

Heslop (right) is pictured with her friend Kate Owen. The pair moved to the Caribbean together 15 months ago



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