The Virgin Island is abuzz with search parties looking for Sarm Herslop off the coast of St. John Island after she was reported missing two weeks ago.
The British native had been last seen a day before she went missing, on the 47-foot boat of her American boyfriend, Ryan Bane.
The Virgin Island Police Department conducted an initial land search, in addition to divers combing through the local waters, but none have yielded any results.
Though Bane made the official missing report to the police, he immediately retained an attorney, David Cattie.
Herslop — a former flight attendant from Southampton, United Kingdom — had dinner with Bane and returned to the 47-feet Catalan named “Siren Song” on March 7. Bane told the police he only discovered she was missing in the early hours of the next day and assumed she fell overboard.
Family and friends of Herslop pushed for the police to search Bane’s boat to uncover clues and any evidence that could help investigators unravel the mystery behind her disappearance. However, they met with opposition from Bane and his lawyer.
According to the Independent, “Upon his attorney’s advice, Mr. Bane exercised his constitutional right to remain silent and denied officers’ requests to search the vessel,” said Toby Derima, the spokesperson for the police.
However, in a statement to Fox News, Cattie stated multiple officers of the U.S. Coast Guard boarded the Siren Song at Bane’s request following his 911 call to interview his client. Bane had also handed over Herslop’s passport, phone, iPad, clothing and other belongings.
Andrew Baldwin, a friend of Herslop for 25 years, described her disappearance as out of character for the 41-year-old.
“Sarm and I had spoken about Ryan, but I had never met him. She was very happy. She had just gone out there at the end of January to be with him. I have no reason to believe there were any issues there at all,” said Baldwin when he spoke to The Guardian Newspaper.
Baldwin further described her as a friend who had sailed across the Atlantic and had ample experience on boats.
Herslop is also known to keep regular contact with loved ones, hence the reason her family and friends suspected foul play.
So far, Herslop’s family, in a statement, had appealed for the U.K. government’s support to find her. Though, each passing day dwindles the possibility of finding her alive.
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