20 August 2021
Dear Secretary of State,
We are writing to request a meeting with yourself to discuss and request your involvement in the current investigation into the disappearance of our daughter, Sarm Joan Lillian Heslop, who went missing from the catamaran she was staying on in the US Virgin Islands in March.
Sarm was first reported missing on Monday 8 March 2021 by her boyfriend, Ryan Bane, the owner-operator of Siren Song, the catamaran she was living and working on. Mr Bane said both he and Sarm returned to the Siren Song after dining ashore on the island of St John and had gone to sleep around 10pm Sunday evening. At 2am he woke up and realised she was not on board.
The US Virgin Islands Police Department received a call around 2.30am from Mr Bane to report Sarm’s disappearance and they advised Mr Bane to notify the US Coast Guard. The Sector San Juan Coast Guard received a call from Mr Bane at 11.46am suggesting that Sarm may have fallen overboard. An extensive water and coastline search ensued but was unsuccessful, however, to date Siren Song has not been searched by the VIPD.
The Siren Song was Sarm’s place of residence and work and Mr Bane, as the owner and captain of the catamaran has a duty of care to his crew, as well as to his girlfriend. However, he has refused to speak further with the police (as is his right under American law), has refused a full forensic search of the Siren Song and is no longer in the USVI.
Over the past 5 months we have endured a living hell trying to piece together what may have happened to our daughter. We are so grateful to the US Virgin Islands Police Department, Hampshire Police Major Crime Unit and the local residents of the USVI, as well as Sarm’s friends across the globe, who have all helped in whatever way they can to continue the search.
Disappointingly, we feel that there has been only minimal support from the UK Government and the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office and we are now requesting your involvement to do all you can to assist us. Her case deserves a full and thorough investigation and as the key witness to Sarm’s last known whereabouts, Mr Bane should speak further with the VIPD.
Sarm is a strong, vibrant, joyful woman, as well as British citizen, and she deserves every effort we can possibly make to help find out what has happened to her and to bring her home.
We look forward to hearing from you and hope you will work with us to assist in the search of our daughter.
Brenda Street & Peter Heslop