Sarm Heslop’s Disappearance Must Now Be Treated As Murder, Says Mother

A family's anguish leads to calls for homicide investigation in USVI mystery

  • Janeka Simon
  • March 04, 2024

Sarm Joan Lillian Heslop.

After three years, the disappearance of a 41-year old British woman from a yacht anchored off the coast of St. John should be treated as a homicide, the woman’s distraught mother told the UK press. 

Sarm Heslop disappeared after a night out with her boyfriend Ryan Bane. The couple were living on Bane’s yacht Siren Song and had gone out for dinner the night Ms. Heslop disappeared. She was last seen as the couple left the bar they had been visiting on shore. 

Scrutiny immediately fell on Mr. Bane, who waited hours to report his girlfriend’s disappearance, did not allow authorities to thoroughly search the boat from which Ms. Heslop went missing, left the USVI’s jurisdiction with alacrity, turned up in Grenada, removed the Siren Song’s name from where it was painted on the vessel, and put the catamaran up for sale after gutting and remodeling its kitchen.

“There’s too many things that don’t make sense and don’t add up,” said Brenda Street, Ms. Heslop’s mother. She spoke to The People newspaper, telling reporters that when the family traveled to the territory to search for answers regarding Ms. Heslop’s disappearance, “people wouldn’t speak to us about Sarm and on the posters asking for information someone had gone round and scrubbed out the number to call.”

Resolute in her belief that her daughter was murdered, Ms. Street said that she was disappointed by the lackluster response from the VIPD and full of “hatred” for Mr. Bane, who she says has not done enough to help find his missing girlfriend. 

However, Mr. Bane’s attorney David Cattie issued a statement of his own to the press, saying that his client was “heartbroken over Sarm’s disappearance,” and claiming that Mr. Bane was responsive, meeting with the VIPD immediately after Ms. Heslop was reported missing, and turning over all her electronic devices to police. 

The VIPD, which identified Mr. Bane as a “person of interest” in Ms. Heslop’s disappearance, said that concerted efforts to obtain warrants to search the catamaran were ultimately unsuccessful.

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