US Virgin Is - Sarm Joan Lillian Heslop, 41, British, aboard vessel Siren Song, St. John, 7 Mar 2021

Discussion in 'Missing Persons Discussion' started by JerseyGirl, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. whitelilac

    whitelilac Well-Known Member

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    Why would an attorney advise him on refusing the search? "Constitutional rights", while his gf is missing? GMAB, and for 12 days already? Boat could have indications of why Sarm may have left, that Bane missed. His "constitutional rights" demand only makes him look more suspicious. That in turn could stop people from searching the waters and land for a woman that may be alive and in trouble. Why wouldn't he want all the help he could have?

    Is she on the boat? Do 47 ft cats have a freezer...especially since this is a charter boat for groups of guests?
     


  2. shotgun09

    shotgun09 Well-Known Member

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    I am almost positive that his vessel has now been thoroughly 'cleaned' by a professional crew since his last guests left. (while refusing a search) How convenient is that?
     
  3. JuicyLucy

    JuicyLucy Well-Known Member

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    <snipped for focus>

    I think that too, but I wondered if I was looking at it from too much of a UK perspective. Would "say nothing, permit nothing" be pretty standard legal advice in the US, especially in a jurisdiction you don't entirely trust not to stitch you up?

    JMO
     
  4. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    The police don't need his permission to search if they would get a warrant.

    jmo
     
  5. whitelilac

    whitelilac Well-Known Member

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    Police would need probable cause though, I'd think.
     
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  6. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    Of course, but it seems like a woman disappearing off a boat would be probable cause to look for evidence where she lived and was last seen alive. Right? Believing everything the boyfriend says doesn't seem like good investigating.

    So odd.

    jmo
     
  7. Mandalas

    Mandalas Well-Known Member

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    Crime rates are higher than average in USVI, in fact, I believe it has one of the highest rates for murder and homicide in the world, and there have also been reports of corruption :(

    If I was in RB's situation, I would probably also seek legal counsel fairly quickly, especially if I was concerned about corruption or foul play, or was not resident / known in the community.
     
  8. Blondie in Spokane

    Blondie in Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I keep checking in here hoping for updates.....
     
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  9. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    Surely she'd wake up her new boyfriend/boss/landlord to let him know she was leaving, or leave a note. It's not a 'friend' relationship where you each do your own thing.

    The exception would be if they had a big fight, so she escaped. But he's not mentioning any big fight, and she'd be in touch with family and friends. I imagine a fight could be heard across water, though maybe he has a soundproof cabin.

    IMO, he wasn't married to her, they didn't have children together, he didn't need her money, they'd only been back together for a couple of weeks. He could easily decide to end it and just tell her, there was no reason to kill her unless he was into sexual sadism that went in that direction. Or, a fight that got out of hand. Their behaviour towards each other at the restaurant would be significant evidence, I think.

    JMO
     
  10. MsMarple

    MsMarple Well-Known Member

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    You'd think so, right? Yet in an article I linked upthread the USVI LE said they would have to present probable cause to the court in order to secure a search warrant. What the heck?

    USVI police spokesman Toby Derima added: "We would need to get a warrant to search the boat. We would need to show the court that we had probable cause to search the boat, as this is not yet a criminal case.

    "We thought we could just ask Mr Bane to search the boat and he would say yes and he didn't. That is his right. Getting the search warrant would be the next step, however we are still searching, doing regular inspections of the areas and speaking to potential witnesses."
    Sarm Heslop's boyfriend refusing to allow search of yacht from where she disappeared, police say

    The Coast Guard search was likely a cursory one where they were looking for Sarm (or a body) concealed somewhere on the boat. That's way different from a forensic search where LE would use Luminal and check for fingerprints and other possible evidence. I'm pretty sure LE would have adequate probable cause here on the mainland.

    So in terms of strategy *IF* someone had something to hide a CG search would be better for them. And while I disagree I grudgingly admit that *IF* there is corruption in local LE then yeah, getting a lawyer and closing up shop is the best move - for Ryan Bane, not so much for Sarm. MOO.

    A quick Google search on LE corruption in the USVI does reveal some upsetting hits. How that would tie into this case is unknown.
     
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  11. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    Seems like they are stalling until so much time passes, the problem just fades away.

    jmo
     
  12. Mandalas

    Mandalas Well-Known Member

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    This is all making me feel a little uncomfortable. It is hard to see how this will play out, especially given we know so little.

    If local authority corruption or similar is a serious possibility, and we combine that with any other possible bias or discrimination, such as xenophobia or racism (not accusing anyone of this, simply exploring it as an idea) then you can imagine an innocent in this situation is going to avoid any possible scenario in which false evidence might be discreetly planted in order to resolve a case quickly, keep USVI out of the limelight, or keep up the region's tourism profile.

    If an individual HAD had an accident of some description which inadvertently led to an unfortunate or tragic outcome for SH, and the context was as I've alluded to above, then that is even more reason to protect oneself at the earliest opportunity while working out a plan to deal with the situation, all awhile seeking relevant legal advice.

    If an individual had brought harm to SH WITH INTENT (although IMO it would surely be difficult to disguise this given the exposed surroundings and lack of reports of unusual behaviour or noise) then yes, it could potentially be a cunning ploy to exploit weaknesses in the local CJ infrastructure.

    All of this is speculation of course, as we lack sufficient evidence.... Insights so far are largely anecdotal from local witnesses, friends/family assisting from afar and the press, the latter likely in one way or another to be biased.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that reports we read from the local LE or press may well be skewed or misdirectional, given what we know about the wider context there.

    Hard to know basically. :confused:

    Edit to add: All IMO
     
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  13. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    Tho to add, it's probably the impoverished locals and drug smugglers who are driving up the murder rate, not the expat yachting community. It's lucky Sarm is British, the UK government can apply pressure in their own territory.

    With regards to RB, I think this could destroy his charter business ($1200 US per night), so I can understand a lawyer for that reason, as well. Also makes me think a rational person wouldn't create this kind of problem for his idyllic lifestyle, but all may not be as it seems.
     
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  14. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    Being on WS makes us super suspicious, JMO that's not probable cause to a judge: 'I read about this other case', etc. If there were reports of previous DV towards her, of his making threats, of arguments, her being fearful, or so on, that could be probable cause.
     
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  15. Mandalas

    Mandalas Well-Known Member

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    I see your point for sure, the socio-economic conditions may well be feeding the crime rate. However, it is also worth considering that those of higher economic standing can take advantage of unstable conditions/contexts to hide nefarious behaviour behind seemingly clean/upstanding social status or lifestyle.

    Good point about the business. Do we know if it is his business, and not someone else's? Does he own the boat, do we know this?

    Again, MOO.
     
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  16. Inthedetails

    Inthedetails Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya, but that's not what I posted.

    I think it is probable cause simply because it's the last place she was supposedly seen alive and where she lived.

    But whatever. Seems others don't think that is probable cause, including LE.

    jmo
     
  17. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    No, I don't think the information about who owns the boat is public. He is the captain, but someone else could easily own it, related or unrelated to him. It's a half-million dollar yacht. If there is a silent boat owner, they could have hired the lawyer for him.

    Just recalled, women are not always victimized because someone wants to get rid of them: they can also be victimized if they want to leave.
     
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  18. Mandalas

    Mandalas Well-Known Member

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    Just a thought: If he was concerned about integrity of a fingerprint search, surely having the lawyer present would be an option? I appreciate that is not the only touch point of the forensic process however...

    What might other motivations be for not granting access to the boat for a search?
     
  19. shotgun09

    shotgun09 Well-Known Member

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    Off the beaten track a bit, but I have recently become aware of the yacht rental business and what a (more than likely) competitive business this is. My spouse has been binge watching Below Deck.. which follows a crew of a rental yacht around. I have not watched an episode, however my spouse fills me in occasionally. Strange stories and strange lifestyles are not unique to say the least. In saying this, along with the context of Sarm's disappearance it wouldn't surprise me at all to hear of possible 'under the table' hi jinks with the government or politics. These power rentals bring in BIG $$$
     
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  20. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    If he's following the advice of his US attorney, I think they just recommend it as a matter of a policy. Don't say anything, don't give anything to police unless they have a legal warrant. It's up to them to find evidence, it's not your job. Also, any statements/ evidence they find and release to the public can be used in civil court by the family, to sue for wrongful death. Yes, it makes you look guilty, but LE are not allowed to assume that you're guilty until proved innocent....etc.

    Just laying out the rationale, not justifying it. I think the truth is the best policy.
     

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