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The American couple who disappeared when their yacht was attacked by three escaped prisoners in the Caribbean

Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry, a couple from Virginia (Image: Getty Images)U.S) who was traveling through the Caribbean on his yacht, were last seen alive on February 18, at a pier in Grenada. The next morning, a neighbor said the couple and their boat, the Simplicity, were missing.

Although their bodies were not found, On Monday authorities admitted they could be deadbecause they suspect they were murdered by three escaped prisoners who boarded the yacht, kidnapped them and then threw them overboard.

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Don McKenziecommissioner of Royal Grenada Police Force, said at a press conference that the three prisoners escaped on Sunday, February 18, from the South Saint George police station. They hijacked the yacht Simplicity the next day and then went to Saint Vincent and the Grenadineswhere they were arrested on Wednesday last week.

“Information suggests that while they were traveling between Grenade It is Saint Vincentthey got rid of the occupants,” McKenzie said, according to the AP agency.

Hours later, the spokesperson for Royal Police of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines He published a video where he said that although the bodies had not been found, the couple was presumed dead.

“According to the results of the investigation so far, it is assumed that Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brendel They died,” said spokesman Junior Simmons.

Simmons added that they found “frightening evidence of a violent struggle” on the yacht.

“Several objects were scattered on the deck and cabin, and a red substance that looked like blood was seen on board,” he said.

The escaped prisoners were identified as Trevon Robertsona 19-year-old unemployed person; Abita Estanislau, 25 years old farmer; It is Ron Mitchell, a 30-year-old sailor. Two months ago, they were charged with one count of robbery with violence. Mitchell was also charged with one count of rape, three counts of attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault and causing harm, police said. Grenade.

The yacht “Simplicity” docked at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Base Calliaqua, Friday, February 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Kenton X. Chance).

Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry They sailed on their yacht from Hampton (Virginia) until Ancestral.

The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) said in a statement that Hendry and Brandel were “veteran sailors” and longtime members of the association. He described them as “kind-hearted and capable” people.

The club shared a statement from the family of Brandel It is Henrique.

“We want to reach out to the entire boating community to express our gratitude to everyone who worked to collect eyewitness information and provide search and rescue support. It means a lot to us that so many people care about Ralph and Kathy as friends and fellow boaters who are willing to stop and help in any way possible,” Nick Buro, Brandel’s son, and Bryan Hendry, Hendry’s son, said in a statement. .

According to CNN, the family called on other sailors and anyone not linked to the official investigation to stop the search and thanked the police. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and the Coast Guard for their investigations.

“The only way we believe this situation could be worse is if someone was injured or put in danger while trying to conduct a search,” the statement said.

According to the SDSA, the club’s executive director contacted them after a “good Samaritan” stumbled upon an abandoned yacht at sea near St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday, February 21, and found the club’s contact information. .

“The good Samaritan boarded the boat and observed that the owners, Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel, were not on board and found evidence of apparent violence. SDSA contact information was published and they contacted the association,” SDSA said.

Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry sold their home to buy a yacht so they could travel.

Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry sold their home to buy a yacht so they could travel.

According to NBC News, the couple met in Virginia and had been married for 27 years. They raised their children together in the state, where they lived until 2013, when they sold their house in Alexandria for the Simplicity and life in the water.

“They wanted to see the world. They wanted to experience life. They wanted to see what the world had to offer outside the small window of living in one place and being able to move around, being able to have a different adventure every day. That’s the definition of life,” said Nick Buro, Brandel’s son.

The couple “lived with a sense of wonder and love,” added Bryan Hendry, Ralph’s son.

“They loved immersing themselves in different cultures, meeting people and spreading their love wherever they could,” Bryan continued.

“You will never meet more beautiful people than Kathy and Ralph,” said Nick Buro. “They were there to help people when they needed it most. They are my inspiration for everything and I can’t express how much I love them and I know everyone who knows them feels the same.”

The couple had been planning the trip to Granada for many years, training, preparing the boat, preparing […] to make the trip,” Bryan explained.

It would be a “very long” trip.which should not be underestimated” and the couple considered that they had “prepared adequately”, he added.

A GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the couple’s family indicates that Brandel had recently become a grandmother for the first time and that the boating community was “devastated” by what happened.

Bob Osborn, president of the association, said the event was disturbing and tragic. “In all the years I’ve sailed the Caribbean, I’ve never heard anything like it,” he said.

Source: Elcomercio

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