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Couple feared dead after 3 escaped prisoners allegedly steal their yacht in the Caribbean
Featured Image Credit: 13News Now/YouTube

Couple feared dead after 3 escaped prisoners allegedly steal their yacht in the Caribbean

Police are investigating the couple's disappearance

Almost a week on from Ralph Hendry and his wife Kathy Brandel's disappearance and police fear the pair may have been killed.

Hendry and Brandel owned a yacht named Simplicity, and were said to be experienced sailors.

The couple, reportedly from Virginia, would often stay on their boat over the winter months and would travel round parts of America before setting sail for the Caribbean.

It was a route they'd done for several years.

As of last weekend, Hendry and Brandel were docked in the waters of the southern Caribbean nation of Grenada, but haven't been seen since Sunday (February 18).

Their yacht was believed to have been stolen and has since been found after three escaped prisoners are alleged to have used it to flee to a nearby island.

The three men, who have been named as Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 19, and Abita Stanislaus, 25, were caught by police on Wednesday (February 21).

The trio escaped the South St. George Police Station and made their way to the arena where Hendry and Brandel were docked, according to police.

Before their escape, Mitchell, Robertson and Stanislaus were charged jointly with robbery with violence.

Mitchell was also charged with rape, attempted rape and indecent assault, according to investigators.

Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel were last seen on Sunday, February 18.

In light of the yacht being recovered, it's said that there's potential evidence to suggest the American couple might have been killed in the process of Simplicity's theft.

A good samaritan discovered Hendry and Brandel's boat abandoned on a beach and, upon climbing aboard the yacht, found 'evidence of apparent violence', according to The Salty Dawg Sailing Association, which the couple belonged to.

Royal Grenada Police Force has since issued a statement on the matter.

"Preliminary information emanating from investigators in St Vincent suggests that the three men made their way to St Vincent via a yacht which was docked in the St. George areal," it read.

Police have shared photos of the 3 men who escaped from custody.
RSVG Police Force

"The RGPF is currently working on leads that suggest that the two occupants of the yacht may have been killed in the process. It is believed that the occupants of the yacht were American citizens."

It continued: "This investigation is in its infancy stage and the RGPF have dispatched a team of senior investigators and a forensic specialist to St. Vincent in furtherance of this investigation."

Despite fears that the pair have died, Brandel and Hendry's family remain optimistic.

Hendry's sister, Suellen Desmarais, told ABC News: "Their love for life and island people, they're good, basic people.

"Until they find a body, they're still alive."

Topics: Crime, Travel, US News, News, World News