The boyfriend of a British woman who disappeared off his catamaran earlier this month has refused to allow police to search the boat on advice of his attorney, a US Virgin Islands police spokesman says.
Sarm Heslop, 41, reportedly went to dinner with boyfriend Ryan Bane on St John on March 7, then came back to the boat, where the two watched a movie and fell asleep at about 10 p.m., according to Bane.
At 2 a.m. Bane says, the boat’s anchor alarm woke him up, and he discovered Heslop wasn’t on board. Her bank cards and cell phone were on the the boat, as CrimeOnline has reported.
While Heslop’s friends have been concerned that Bane didn’t notify the US Coast Guard about Heslop’s disappearance until noon, police said he notified them at about 2:30 a.m., according to the BBC.
Police spokesman Toby Derima said that officers performed an “initial land search” when Bane reported Heslop missing and told him to call the Coast Guard.
“Soon after reporting Ms Heslop missing, Mr Bane acquired the services of an attorney,” he said. “Upon his attorney’s advice, Mr Bane exercised his constitutional right to remain silent and denied officers’ requests to search the vessel.”
Andrew Baldwin, a friend of Heslop, told the BBC the timeline “doesn’t make sense.”
“She would not just disappear, leaving no trace,” he said. “She is savvy and sensible, it’s not like her at all, it just doesn’t add up.”
Police have not offered much information on the status of the search for Heslop but said it is “committed to located Ms Heslop.”
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[Featured image: Sarm Heslop/Facebook]