For the last month, people living on both sides of the Atlantic ocean have been gripped by the story of missing former flight attendant, Sarm Heslop. Sarm Heslop was first reported missing on March 7, 2021 by her boyfriend, Ryan Bane when she vanished while on his yacht in the United States’ Virgin Islands. The investigation has spanned over the Islands and now involves international cooperation between FBI agents and U.K. investigators.
At the time of her disappearance, Sarm Heslop was living her dream of working as a chef in the Virgin Islands. She moved to the Virgin Islands from Southampton, England and had found work on Ryan Bane’s charter yacht while he conducted island tours for tourists on the boat. Sarm was dating Bane after meeting him on Tinder, and found working together to be a way to spend more time together. Despite reports that they were very happy at the time of her disappearance, Ryan Bane waited nine hours to call the Coast Guard after Heslop disappeared from his boat. They’d gone to dinner the night of March 7 on the island of St. John and returned to the yacht. Bane claims that he awoke around 2 in the morning to realize that Sarm was not on the boat. He called 911 to report her missing. He was then instructed to call the Coast Guard, but did not do so until almost noon that same day. Valuable time was obviously lost in the investigation, and to further exacerbate the frustration, Bane refused to let police search his boat. Because of his lack of cooperation, authorities were not able to say with certainty that Sarm Heslop reboarded the yacht when they returned from the mainland.
A month has gone by and there still have been no answers in Sarm Heslop’s disappearance. Her friends and family have taken to the internet and social media in order to spread awareness about her case. People following the case have done so by following the hashtag #FindSarm on major social media platforms. The family also generated a website about her case findsarm.com. Her family has released a statement about the case: “We are shocked and distraught that Sarm is missing. We would like assurance that the authorities in the Virgin Islands are doing everything possible to find her and that the investigation into our beautiful and cherished daughter’s disappearance includes a comprehensive fingertip search of the boat.”
Authorities have not officially named Bane a suspect in Sarm’s disappearance. According to his high-profile defense attorney, David Cattie, who represented Ghislaine Maxwell, Bane has “invoked his right to silence.” Bane is currently residing in the Virgin Islands.