U.S. Virgin Islands charter boat captain Ryan Bane, the boyfriend of the missing British woman Sarm Heslop, last seen on his boat on March 7, has not been named a suspect or person of interest in the case – but he has hired a high-profile defense attorney and refused to allow police to search his vessel.
He also picked up anchor this week and left his mooring, where Heslop had vanished earlier this month, and his whereabouts are unknown.
Attorney David Cattie did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment or answer whether he knew where his client had gone. Law enforcement were not aware of his whereabouts either.
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Cattie’s other clients have included Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend and alleged enabler, Ghislaine Maxwell, as well as a boat captain who was acquitted of seaman’s manslaughter charges after a crew member went overboard and drowned off the coast of the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Daily Mail reported earlier.
Cattie, who is based in the Caribbean community, was representing Maxwell in connection with a case there involving Epstein’s estate.
She is currently facing a six-count indictment on a number of charges, including child sex trafficking, and has maintained her innocence.
But he also helped defend a sailboat captain in a homicide case in 2019, convincing the judge to throw it out on a technicality. He pointed out that his client had been charged under a law that applied to commercial captains while sailing privately, according to the Portland Press-Herald, based in the defendant’s home state of Maine.
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Bill Smith was charged with seaman’s manslaughter in connection with the 2015 death of a crewmate who jumped overboard after the two had been in a fight, according to the paper.
David Pontius, the victim, had been experiencing a mental health episode and grown violent and irrational, according to witnesses.
He reportedly became delirious and accused the other crew members of kidnapping – then attacked Smith. After a brief fight, he stepped overboard.
Smith unsuccessfully searched for him with a spotlight but allegedly did not turn the boat around.
He didn’t report Pontius missing for another 24 hours, according to prosecutors, the Press-Herald reported at the time.
Heslop has been missing since March 7 or 8. Bane called 911 around 2:30 a.m. on the eighth and reported that he had been awakened by the anchor alarm on his 47-foot catamaran and found that Heslop was no longer on board, according to local police. The two had been seen earlier in the evening at a local bar and left around 10 p.m.
After he awoke to find her gone, he called 911. Dispatchers told him to call the U.S. Coast Guard – which he did not do for roughly 10 more hours.
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Bane has not been named a suspect or person of interest in the case.
He was convicted roughly a decade ago of domestic violence for beating his wife after a night out.
Cattie did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.