American Couple Sailing The Caribbean Hijacked By Escaped Fugitives In Grenada

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catamaran Sailing The Caribbean
Photo Credit: "catamaran out for a sail on St. Martin" by chris favero is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/?ref=openverse.

A retired American couple sailing the Caribbean are presumed dead after their abandon yacht is found covered in blood.

Retired couple sailing the Caribbean hijacked by escaped fugatives

Two skilled sailors, Kathleen Brandel and Ralph Hendry, are missing and presumed to be in grave danger after their yacht ‘Simplicity’ was found deserted on a remote island, raising fears of potential foul play.

Years ago, the couple had set off on a lifelong dream to circumnavigate the world on their boat, but that adventure has seemingly taken a disastrous turn in the Caribbean.

Brandel and Hendry, who began their global sailing expedition after selling their home in Alexandria, Virginia in 2013, were well-known within the boating community as members of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association.

The pair literally fell off the map, when they vanished without trace last week around Grenada, sparking an intense and ongoing investigation.

The couple was last seen in St. George, Grenada’s capitol. The yacht was anchored at a marina in the city.

Retired couple sailing the Caribbean go missing after criminals escape in Grenada

Their disappearance coincided with three violent criminals escaping from the South Saint George Police Station nearby on Feb. 18.

The situation took a darker turn when law enforcement discovered the ‘Simplicity’ abandoned near St. Vincent, an island around 50 miles away.

The Grenada police found the vessel stained with blood and showing clear evidence of a violent confrontation.

St. Vincent authorities later located and detained the escaped criminals Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 19, and Abita Stanislaus, 25, on the island.

The Royal Grenada Police Force acknowledged the grim possibility that the couple may have encountered a tragic end at the hands of the three fugitives, who were known to be violent.

Nick Buro, the couple’s son, expressed disbelief and pain at the “senseless act of violence.”

“This trip to the Caribbean was their dream,” he told WRCTV. “This was what they had been working towards for years and years and years, to get simplicity up to the point where it could make a passage like this.”

While he’s holding out hope that his parents are found safe, the situation has been “a nightmare” for the family.

“If I do see my parents again, it would be the happiest moment of my life,” added Buro’s brother Bryan Hendry.

Police lose hope that retired couple sailing the Caribbean are still alive

While both boys are wishing that their parents are located in by authorities, Royal Grenada Police Force commissioner Don McKenzie believes that there is a “low probability” that Brandel and Hendry are still alive.

“Information suggests that while traveling between Grenada and St Vincent, [the fugatives] disposed of the occupants,” he remarked.

During a press conference, McKenzie said an investigation has been launched into weather the escape was a “a system failure” or a “slip up.”

Reporters also wanted to know why Robinson and Stanislaus, who were charged months ago with robbery and violence, along with Mitchell, who had been charged with rape and three counts of attempted rape, were in a police holding cell, rather than prison.

One official explained that the men were at the police station awaiting the ruling from a magistrate.

All three fugitives finally got their day in court on Monday, when they pleaded guilty to four charges of entering St. Vincent without a passport.

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