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Missing woman’s mom begs Biden for help in Caribbean paradise where murders have gone unsolved

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The mother of a U.K. woman who vanished from her American boyfriend’s yacht in the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2021 sent an open letter to President Biden on Friday, demanding he do something about the “failures” of police in the tourist hot spot, known for gorgeous beaches and a leisurely island life.

Sarm Heslop vanished overnight between March 7 and 8 of 2021 under suspicious circumstances. Searches came up empty, and her family suspects foul play, although there have been no official developments in the case in over three years.

“I do not believe my daughter vanished without a trace, I believe she was murdered and there is a bigger, more disturbing case here involving potential corruption and cover ups,” her mother, United Kingdom resident Brenda Street, wrote to the president. “I plead for you to uncover the truth and give us the answers we deserve.” 

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Sarm Heslop was last seen leaving the 420 to Center bar on St. John in March 2021. Her friends and family now say they want police to release previously undisclosed video of her final known movements. (Friends and Family of Sarm Heslop)

She was last seen alive leaving a bar on St. John with her boyfriend, Ryan Bane, who has a prior domestic violence conviction for beating his ex-wife in a drunken rage. The couple lived together on his 47-foot catamaran, the Siren Song, but police never searched his boat and say that a judge denied their request for a warrant.

Numerous experts, however, say they should have had no issue establishing probable cause for a search, because that is the last place Heslop was believed to have been before she vanished.

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President Biden

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign event at Pullman Yards on March 9, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Megan Varner/Getty Images)

Bane and Heslop left the 420 for Center Bar in Cruz Bay around 10 p.m. March 7, 2021. Police have reviewed, but not publicly released, surveillance video that shows the couple headed to Bane’s dinghy a few minutes later. Around 2:30 a.m. the following morning, Bane called the Virgin Islands Police Department to report Heslop missing.

He was told to alert the U.S. Coast Guard if she’d fallen overboard. He waited 10 hours to do so and then refused to allow responding sailors to search the cabin of his boat. 

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Ryan Bane triple split Lake Orion planet fitness

Two Michigan men say their cousin’s ex-husband, Ryan Bane, approached them in a Lake Orion gym, where they confronted him about the whereabouts of his girlfriend, who went missing in 2021. (Gary and Ricky Stevenson)

According to the letter, Virgin Islands police “admitted” to the family that they “forgot” to call the Coast Guard themselves.

“This was their first admittance of failing to carry out their duties,” Street wrote. “Their communication since has been appalling, and my daughter’s case is riddled with failures.”

Island police also failed to record the 911 call, which could have contained evidence.

Read the letter to President Biden:

David Johnston, a decorated former London homicide squad commander and hostage negotiator, is assisting Heslop’s parents free of charge. He told Fox News Digital earlier this month that Bane ultimately sailed out of U.S. territorial waters and then resurfaced in Grenada, where he allegedly had the freezer replaced in the boat.

“We know he went to Grenada afterwards and had the freezer replaced on the boat. Why?” the Queen’s Police Medal recipient pondered in a phone interview. “We know he had other parts of the forecabin replaced. Why?”

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Sarm Heslop steers a sailboat

Sarm Heslop steers a sailboat in a July 2020 photo posted to her Instagram account. The UK native has been missing since March 8, 2021, after she was last seen leaving a bar on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Sarm Heslop/Instagram)

Bane’s lawyer, David Cattie, who previously represented Ghislaine Maxwell, previously told Fox News Digital that his client would return to the Virgin Islands if his presence were “legally required.”

“Mr. Bane had nothing to do with Sarm’s disappearance and remains heartbroken that she is missing,” he said.

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Sarm Heslop seated on a boat

Sarm Heslop seated on a boat. The globetrotting UK native has been missing since March 8, 2021, after she was last seen leaving a bar on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. (Sarm Heslop/Instagram)

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Bane has not been charged with a crime in Heslop’s disappearance. Police have referred to him as a person of interest.

“Sarm likely is dead, and her death was untimely and could have been a murder,” Johnston said. “It could’ve been an accident, but no one will speak with us.”

Smiling Sarm, frowning Ryan

Sarm Heslop and Ryan Bane in a split photo. Bane was arrested in 2011 in a domestic violence case after attacking his ex-wife on their way home from a wedding. (Virgin Islands Police Department/Oakland County Sheriff’s Office )

Heslop’s mother is also asking the president to release surveillance video of Heslop leaving the bar with Bane, which she says is in the possession of island police but has not been made public.

There is a reward being offered for information on Heslop’s whereabouts. Anyone with information is asked to call U.S. Virgin Islands Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips.

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Siren Song drone footage

The Siren Song moored in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, seen in aerial drone footage in March 2021. (FindSarm.com)

While the Virgin Islands Police Department has jurisdiction over local offenses, the FBI urges anyone who believes they are a witness or victim to a federal crime to call them directly at 1-800-CALL-FBI or to call the local field office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard says that anyone who needs help in U.S. waters should reach out over VHF radio on channel 16 with their GPS location and the nature of their emergency. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.



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