Mum’s plea to boyfriend of daughter who went missing on paradise sailing trip

A mum has issued a desperate plea after her daughter went missing, vanishing without a trace from an island sailing trip in Caribbean.

Sarm Heslop, 41, disappeared on the 8 March 2021, and despite an investigation that gained attention around the world, there are no suspects wanted in connection with her disappearance.

The former flight attendant from Southampton went missing from a catamaran, which was moored in a bay off the western coast of Saint John, one of the United States Virgin Islands.

Her mum, Brenda Street, 66, has now been left desperate for answers as she says there is no explanation as to why a seemingly happy, healthy and ‘independent’ woman would vanish.

Now, the mum claims that an American yacht captain, Ryan Bane, holds the key to Sarm’s whereabouts – as he is the man who reported her missing.

Despite meeting on the dating website Tinder in July 2020, his attitude towards Sarm’s disappearance has been ‘baffling’, Brenda says.

It has been reported that the captain did not follow police advice to contact coastguards until his girlfriend had been missing for more than nine hours.

Both Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) officers and the U.S. coastguard claim he then refused them permission to fully search his 47ft catamaran.

Within days, Bane went on to hire top lawyer David Cattie, who has also represented Ghislaine Maxwell.

Meanwhile, his ex-wife, Corie Stevenson, went public with revelations that he had a history of violence and had been jailed for 21 days in 2011 for drunkenly assaulting her; slamming her face to the ground and leaving her with a chipped tooth.

Following this, Bane sailed to Grenada, where he has now been described by police as a ‘person of interest’, but is currently not yet a suspect in Sarm’s missing persons case.

Her mum has been left in tears following her daughter’s disappearance, saying that she ‘breaks down frequently’ over the thought of her being gone.

She said: “My heart is breaking but I need to see she’s gone before I can say she’s dead. Not knowing is torture.”

The 66-year-old went on to question why her boyfriend at the time didn’t do ‘everything he could to help’, adding that the possibility of her falling overboard was not possible as she “is a very, very strong swimmer.”

Brenda went on to say that if her daughter had fallen off the boat, her body would have been found by cops in the waters of the bay.

And speaking of another possible outcome – Sarm running away – Brenda insists that her daughter would have let her know of her whereabouts, saying that she would not have put her family through their pain.

In supporting Brenda’s claims are her husband Martyn, 62, a builder, Sarm’s brother, Jason, 44, and Sarm’s father, Peter.

Regardless of whether it was an accident or not, the mum says, she is adamant that Sarm’s captain boyfriend is central to the mystery of her going missing.

She says: “Bane isn’t talking. He’s not helping,” adding: “Why wouldn’t you clear your name?”

Sarm, worked at the now defunct airline FlyBe and fell in love with sailing in her 30s, where she even sailed across the Atlantic with friends in December 2019.

Despite spending months island-hopping, her mother says she called her at least once a week.

In late 2020, Sarm decided that she would meet up with boyfriend Bane at St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, on Valentine’s Day.

After letting her mother know of her plans, this tragically ended up being her final message.

On 7 March, Sarm and Bane went for dinner at the restaurant 420 To Center, where they were seen by witnesses. But after the dinner, according to Bane, the couple returned to the anchored yacht in Frank Bay around 10pm – although police have said they cannot be sure that the girlfriend returned.

Then several hours later, around 6am local time, Bane informed Brenda that her daughter had been missing, but did not seem “agitated or upset” at the news, according to the mum.

Due to their inability to fly out to the Caribbean because of lockdown regulations, the family reported Sarm’s disappearance to the Foreign Office and the UK police.

In the first few weeks of their daughter going missing, they had meetings over Zoom with the VIPD – but none provided the answers that they were desperate to have, saying they felt ‘powerless’.

They also tried getting a warrant to search the boat, but shockingly this was denied as Bane would not co-operate.

However, Bane’s lawyer David Cattie claims that the coastguards conducted an ‘on-site inspection of the vessel’, despite the coastguards and police saying that they were ‘denied access to the interior’ hours after Sarm’s disappearance.

Despite his lack of cooperation, Bane was only handed a ‘citation for obstruction’, which is just a written notice of non-compliance with a case and does not result in a criminal record.

And while the FBI joined the VIPD to help in the hunt for Sarm — a search that deployed divers, drones and dogs — authorities could not prevent Bane sailing off at the end of March.

Last November, Bane was pictured looking tanned and relaxed, moored at Grenada’s Le Phare Bleu Marina, where a source claimed he was enjoying a ‘playboy lifestyle’, according to the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, in March this year, Peter and Brenda flew to the Caribbean to mark the anniversary of Sarm’s disappearance – despite still having no answers to the missing persons case.

And while the British consul in the U.S is helping set up meetings with the coastguards and cops, Brenda says that their help is ‘absolutely useless’.

However, there was a breakthrough in the case, after police revealed footage of the evening of Sarm’s disappearance to the mother.

But the 66-year-old has been left in even more distress after watching the clip, stating that the clothing Sarm was wearing was not what Bane told Brenda.

The mum now believes that she was given a ‘shortened version’ of the CCTV – leaving her even more desperate for answers.

And during her trip down to the island, Brenda adds that locals are also reluctant to speak about Sarm, shockingly saying that the missing person posters of her have been scribbled out.

The VIPD has also refused to release the CCTV footage to Sarm’s family, claiming it would jeopardise the ongoing investigation.

But her heartbroken mum says: “I’ll never stop looking for her. I need to find her.”