Authorities are searching for a British woman who went missing from her boyfriend’s boat in the Virgin Islands

sarm heslop
Authorities are investigating the disappearance of a British woman last seen aboard her boyfriend's boat.
  • The FBI is reportedly helping to search for a missing British woman in the Virgin Islands.
  • Sarm Heslop, 41, has been missing since March 7, when she seeing boarding her boyfriend's boat.
  • Her loved ones have raised questions and suspicions about her disappearance.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The FBI has joined the search for a missing British woman who was last seen aboard her boyfriend's catamaran weeks ago, a spokesperson told Insider in a statement.

Sarm Heslop, 41, was last spotted on March 7 on a boat moored in Frank Bay, St. John, but has been missing ever since, the Virgin Islands Police Department said in a statement.

The FBI spokesperson confirmed the agency has been "supporting local law enforcement" in their investigation, but clarified that local authorities are leading the search. The Virgin Islands Police Department immediately responded to Insider's request for comment.

Heslop's boyfriend, Ryan Bane, first reported her missing on March 8 at 2:30 a.m., hours after the pair went to dinner and returned to the catamaran where they went to bed, according to the BBC.

Heslop's loved ones have created a website devoted to finding her, and have raised questions and suspicions about her disappearance and Bane's actions.

One of Helsop's friends, Andrew Baldwin, questioned why Bane waited nine hours to call the Coast Guard, after being told by Virgin Islands police to do so.

"This timeline just does not make sense to us," Baldwin said in a press release. "We also cannot understand why Mr. Bane's lawyer has denied officers' requests to search the boat and exercised his constitutional rights to remain silent."

The lawyer representing Bane, David Cattie, didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. But Cattie told The Detroit News in a statement that Bane called 911 just after discovering Heslop was missing, then gave a statement, provided a photo, and greeted Coast Guard members at his vessel and gave them an interview later that morning.

"Mr. Bane, at the request of Sarm's family, then turned over her personal belongings to VIPD, including her cell phone, iPad, passport, etc. Ryan's thoughts are with Sarm and her family at this time, and he is praying for her safe return," the statement said.

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