Husband of woman lost at sea left the country with the couple’s baby, says missing newlywed’s sister

The husband of a woman who went missing on May 15 as the newlyweds were sailing alone near the Bahamas is intent on taking the couple’s baby overseas where he has dual British and Australian citizenship, and may have already gone, her sister says.

Lewis Bennett’s wife of three months, Isabella Hellman, has been missing at sea since she apparently went overboard from the catamaran she was sailing on with her husband.

As Crime Online previously reported, Bennett told investigators that he was sleeping below deck in the early hours of May 15 when he woke up as the boat appeared to hit something. He said he went back to the deck where he had last seen his wife, but she was gone. He sent out an emergency alert and left the boat on a life raft. The Coast Guard rescued him a few hours later.

The Coast Guard called off the search for Hellman, the mother of a nine-month-old baby, three days later.

Earlier this week, Hellman’s sister told news station WPTV that she had a lot of questions about her sister’s disappearance, and that Bennett was not respecting the family’s wishes to keep the couple’s baby nearby.

Isabella’s sister Dayana said she was suspicious of Bennett’s reaction since the first time she saw him after Isabella disappeared.

“He was calm, he wasn’t crying or anything. When I saw him I ran to him and I hugged him and I said where is Isabella? And he said I don’t know,” Dayana told the news station.

As Crime Online previously reported, Dayana asked Bennett if he thought her sister was still alive, and he reportedly said, “I think she’s asleep.”

Dayana described a dramatic scene at the home of a family member where the baby had been staying while Bennett was in Cuba looking for his wife.  The sister said Bennett came to the house to pick the baby up on Sunday, and returned a while later with Boca Raton police officers to collect the baby’s belongings.

At that time, Dayana says, she asked Bennett why the baby couldn’t stay with the grieving family for a while.

“Why are you taking her, why don’t you at least give us time to heal?” she reportedly said.

She said that Bennett was unsympathetic.

“He said move, move I’m leaving and you’re not going to see the baby again and my mom passed out on the floor,” the missing woman’s sister told WPTV.

Dayana also said she was told that Bennett has since left the country with the baby, but that has not been confirmed in any news report.

Dayana’s account is partially corroborated by a more recent report from CBS 12. That report says that Bennett asked police for a civil assist on Sunday when he went to retrieve some personal items at the home of an in-law. The police report said that Bennett had his child with him at the time.

The report obtained by the news station also says that Hellman’s sister accused him of killing Isabella while he was at the home.

According to the news station, the report further stated that Bennett is under investigation in connection to the disappearance of his wife. It is not clear from the report if this is in reference to an earlier confirmation from the FBI that the agency has questioned Bennett regarding his wife’s disappearance.

It is also not clear at this time if Bennett is still in the United States or if he is expected to be charged with any wrongdoing.


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