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Boyfriend of Brit missing in Caribbean refusing to let police search his yacht

The wealthy boyfriend of a Brit who went missing two weeks ago in the Caribbean is refusing to let police search his yacht.

Ex-air hostess Sarm Heslop, 41, vanished from the £500,000 Siren Song at night after the couple returned from a meal ashore.

But detectives investigating her disappearance say partner Ryan Bane, 44, is refusing to talk to them or let them go aboard.

They said: “On his attorney’s advice, Mr Bane exercised his right to remain silent and denied officers’ requests to search the vessel.”

Experienced transatlantic sailor Sarm, who met Ryan on Tinder eight months ago, went missing while the yacht was anchored 50ft from shore off St John, the third largest of the US Virgin Islands.

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Ryan Bane is refusing to talk or let police search the yacht, detectives say

Police spokesman Toby Derima told the Sunday Mirror detectives “are looking at all avenues” and “are not ruling anything out”, including the possibility of foul play.

Asked if skipper Ryan was a suspect, he replied: “I’m not sure I can say that yet. Right now we are still trying to find Miss Heslop.”

He said police were conducting daily searches and combing hours of surveillance video.

American Ryan, who charters out his 47ft catamaran, told police he raised the alarm after finding Sarm missing at 2am on March 8 when he was woken by his anchor alert, which detects if the boat is drifting.

The search for Sarm Heslop in the US Virgin Islands
The search in the US Virgin Islands

Police say he called them at 2.30am and they told him to contact the US Coast Guard, which he did nine hours later.

Coast Guard divers searched the shallow waters and checked aboard the boat.

One of Sarm’s closest pals told the Sunday Mirror yesterday: “We’re not casting any suspicion on Ryan.

“I just want to know what hap­­pened, he’s key to that. Any more information he has, I’d like him to come forward with it. Cur­­rently he’s speaking through a lawyer.”

Sarm Heslop
Sarm Heslop, 41, has been missing for two weeks

The friend, who wanted to remain anonymous, added: “I don’t know what information he has or hasn’t given the police.

“We know he’s spoken to them in some form. But I’m not 100% aware he’s been interviewed as such.”

Friends last week begged police to conduct a search of Siren Song, saying Sarm’s phone, passport and purse were still on board.

Sarm, from Southampton, arrived in Grenada in December 2019 and met charter skipper Ryan eight months later.

Boyfriend of Brit missing in Caribbean refusing to let police search his yacht

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They continued a long-distance relationship after she moved to Malta to find work, but she returned to be a cook on the Siren Song weeks before she vanished.

Her parents Peter Heslop and Brenda Street said: “We’d like assurance the authorities are doing everything, and the investigation into our daughter’s disappearance includes a search of the boat.

“We ask for all the support the UK authorities have to offer.”


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