When Brenda Street finally visited the beach where her daughter in the US Virgin Islands disappeared last year, she lay on the shore and cried.
Street, 66, is the mother of Sarm Heslop, a former British flight attendant who disappeared on March 8, 2021. She was last believed to be on her American friend’s luxury catamaran, which was docked off the coast of St. John.
“I felt like she was with me,” Street said in an interview with the Daily Mail. Street traveled to the Virgin Islands with Heslop’s father in March to meet with authorities over her daughter’s disappearance. “I made a wreath out of knitted flowers – she loved that I could knit – and we threw it in the water.”
Street, along with a clique of Heslop’s friends, recently broke their 18-month silence, frustrated by what they said was a lack of information about the investigation into what happened to the 42-year-old brunette, who has a passion for the Sailing and she had new American boyfriend.
“It just feels that way [VI police] have stuck their heads in the sand hoping this will pass,” Heslop’s friend Andrew Baldwin told The Post. “Or they have something to hide.”
He, along with Street and others, want police to release video footage of Heslop leaving a local restaurant with his friend Ryan Bane, 46, a sailor who operates a high-end charter service in the Caribbean on his yacht. Heslop met Bane on Tinder in 2020 and was working as a cook on his boat when she disappeared.
Baldwin said CCTV footage of Heslop’s parents was shown by members of the Virgin Islands Police Department when they visited the island in March. Footage showed what appears to be Bane, a self-proclaimed entrepreneur who grew up in the Detroit suburbs, and Heslop walking to a dinghy on the night of their disappearance.
The video shows Heslop in shorts and a T-shirt – not the black dress with flowers that Bane wore to Street Heslop on the night of her disappearance – according to an Oct. 31 press release by Heslop’s supporters. But the video was interrupted by police “before seeing Sarm and Bane aboard his dinghy,” the BBC reported.
In an October 31 letter to the USVIPD, Street said: “I want everything, not an abridged version to be shown the day I was there on the island. This crucial piece of footage reveals environments, people, actions and behaviors, and information that may have been overlooked.”
“If this is an active investigation, we would ask police to tell Sarm’s family what they are doing,” added Baldwin, 44.
In a press release, Heslop’s friends noted that police told her family last year that surveillance cameras “were not working in the area where she was last seen with Ryan Bane on the night of her disappearance.”
According to Baldwin, 43, police still have Heslop’s cell phone and iPad. “We urge you to return them to Sarm’s family,” he said.
Calls to USVIPD went unanswered.
Family and friends have set up a Facebook page to share information about the disappearance and are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Heslop’s whereabouts.
Bane was the last person to see Heslop alive.
The couple had landed at a local bar on March 7, 2021. According to Bane, they returned to his catamaran — Siren Song — together that night. Despite reporting Heslop missing to police at 2:30 a.m., Bane waited nine hours before calling the Coast Guard to conduct a search. Heslop reportedly left her passport, wallet and phone on board the catamaran before disappearing.
Street said Bane texted her at 6 a.m. on March 8 to tell her her daughter was missing. According to a report, she claimed he refused to speak to her and blocked her number last year. Bane has left St. John and is reportedly living on his catamaran in Grenada.
Heslop’s family and friends said they knew little about Bane, who was arrested in Michigan in 2011 on suspicion of domestic violence while he was married to Corie Stevenson, according to public records. He was behind bars for 21 days after throwing his wife to the ground and banging her head on it, breaking her tooth, according to a report in Britain’s The Sun newspaper.
“Ryan’s personality changed when we got married. It was a beautiful wedding in 2008, but it was like he flipped a switch,” Stevenson told the newspaper. She was married to Bane between 2008 and 2014.
Bane’s attorney, David Cattie, did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.
It is unclear whether Heslop knew about the incident involving Bane’s ex-wife. If so, she didn’t share it with friends and family, who said she seemed head over heels in love with him.
“She described [Bane] as charming and funny, with a sense of humor and adventure,” Baldwin told the Post, recalling the last time he spoke to his friend. “When I spoke to her, she asked me what I thought about her dating him and I told her to try and follow her heart.”
Before deciding to settle in the Virgin Islands with Bane, Heslop had used most of her life savings sailing around the world with friends and had reportedly returned to Europe to earn extra money as a waitress.
“She was a flight attendant in the UK for a number of years,” Baldwin told the Post. “She then worked in a number of roles while saving for travel. She loves to travel and has worked in both Gibraltar and Malta.”
Almost a month after she went missing in April 2021, police said they could not confirm if Heslop returned to the catamaran, Bane reported. A full forensic search of the boat was never conducted, according to the USVIPD.
Baldwin said he met Heslop in 1996 when they were both studying travel and tourism at college in England. Heslop grew up in Southampton, a port city in the south of the country.
“She was the… best friend anyone could ask for,” Baldwin said. “Always helpful, give good advice. Sarm illuminates a room. She is dedicated, loyal, passionate and loved by everyone who has met her. We are all devastated: her family is missing a daughter and we miss our boyfriend.”
Heslop’s supporters said they were demanding that the FBI become involved in the search for Heslop and asked for help from British diplomats to pressure US authorities to continue the search. Heslop’s parents were reportedly accompanied by officials from the British consulate in Miami earlier this year when they visited St. John.
“Sarm wasn’t just going to go away,” her friends and family wrote in a press release last week.
“Someone somewhere knows what happened and if the FBI can assist the US
The Virgin Island Police Search can help find the answers we need and deserve.”
https://nypost.com/2022/12/07/friends-of-missing-ex-uk-flight-attendant-sarm-helsop-say-police-just-want-case-to-go-away/ Friends of missing British ex-flight attendant Sarm Helsop say police just want the case ‘go away’