March 8, 2023 | 10:04 PM
The mother of the former British flight attendant who went missing in the US Virgin Islands believes her daughter is dead, as the family revealed that officials never recorded a 911 call related to her disappearance.
Sarm Heslop, 41, was last seen on March 7, 2021, leaving a St. John bar with boyfriend Ryan Bane, who reported her missing to the Virgin Islands Police Department at around 2:30 a.m. from his catamaran and then the US Coast Guard called to alert of her disappearance later that morning.
But the 911 call to the Coast Guard went unanswered, her family said Tuesday, according to a Fox News report.
“Something’s not right,” mother Brenda Street said in a statement, according to Fox News.
It is the latest revelation that officials in the Virgin Islands have botched the case since Heslop disappeared with family and friends endlessly frustrated by the authorities’ inaction.
“It’s another setback,” Kate Vernalls, a friend of Heslop, told Fox News on Wednesday. “It’s a door that was opened for us as an opportunity that’s now closed again because a 911 call went unanswered, which just feels absolutely insane. But if we are told that the call was not recorded, where do we go?”
The Virgin Islands police declined to answer whether the first call was recorded and why the second call was not recorded, according to Fox News.
The US Coast Guard told the Daily Mail that the call was not recorded due to a “flaw in the system”.
Police originally said they had no surveillance footage of Heslop and Bane leaving the bar, but later reversed course and showed her parents a clip of the pair making their way to a dinghy last year.
But according to an earlier BBC report, her parents said the video they watched was cut short before they started it.
Virgin Islands police cannot confirm whether Heslop ever reached the yacht.
Bane, who was working as a sailor at the time and ran a luxury Caribbean charter service, met Heslop in 2020. She was working on his boat as a cook when she disappeared.
Street, the heartbroken mother, told the BBC she believes her daughter is dead.
“Now, after two years, there’s no way she could be missing,” she said. “I don’t believe she’s alive — I want to be able to find her and bring her home.”
“Sarm would never let her family and friends endure this agony, this heartbreaking grief for so long,” Street added. “I imagine her as a mermaid…. If she’s in the ocean because she loved the ocean.”
While Bane claims the couple both returned to his catamaran, dubbed the Siren Song, he waited nine hours before contacting the Coast Guard to look for her after initially calling local police.
A full forensic examination of the boat has never been conducted, according to police.
Bane has not been charged with any wrongdoing in connection with the case.
According to reports, police have not returned her phone or iPad to family. The department told Fox News that the investigation into Heslop was ongoing, even though her name was misspelled in the statement.
“The Virgin Islands Police Department continues to send thoughts and prayers to the family, friends and colleagues of Sarm Helsop (sic),” a department spokesperson said in an email. “The VIPD Criminal Investigations Bureau continues to work on this ongoing investigation and we will update you on any further developments.”