Sarm Heslop: Mother of woman who disappeared on yacht ‘believes she is dead’
The mother of a British woman who went missing from her boyfriend’s catamaran in the Caribbean in 2021 says she believes her daughter is dead.
The last known sighting of Sarm Heslop was on 7 March 2021, when she left a bar on St John in the US Virgin Islands with her boyfriend, Ryan Bane.
He phoned authorities to report she was missing from the catamaran Siren Song in the early hours of the following morning.
Speaking to the BBC, her mother, Brenda Street, says: “I feel I should grieve. I don’t know how to. My heart’s broken.”
Former flight attendant Sarm Heslop, who was 41 when she went missing, had been living and working on the yacht with Bane, who is a US citizen. Her possessions, including a phone, an iPad and her wallet, were found on the boat.
Street told the BBC: “Now after two years, it’s not possible she is missing. I don’t believe she is still alive — I wish to be able to find her and bring her home.
“Sarm would never put her family and friends through this torment, this gut-wrenching heartache for this long. I imagine her as a mermaid…. If she is in the ocean because she loved the ocean.”
There has been controversy around the police reaction to the case. Bane’s original call was made at 2.30am, but the coastguard was not informed until noon the following day.
It’s reported that Bane has not given an interview to police, and authorities still have not managed to confirm if Heslop was ever on board as reported that night.
Heslop’s disappearance is being treated as a missing persons investigation by The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD).
Ms Street continues: “They didn’t go to the boat to check she was there. They didn’t tell the coastguard. If she had fallen overboard, the coastguard would have been there immediately, not nine hours later.
“The FBI and Hampshire police have offered help, but they have been turned down.”
In a statement, VIPD says: ‘The Virgin Islands Police Department continues to send thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and colleagues of Sarm Helsop.
‘The VIPD Criminal Investigations Bureau continues to work this ongoing [case].’
Heslop’s friends and loved ones have set up a Facebook page to share information about her disappearance. They continue to offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information.
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