Escaped Convicts Suspected in Couple’s Disappearance

An American couple, Kathleen Brandel and Ralph Hendry, who had sold their home in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2013 to live out their retirement sailing the globe, are feared dead. Their yacht, Simplicity, was found abandoned near the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, approximately 50 miles from where they were last seen in Grenada. The couple, who had been married for 27 years, were nowhere to be found.

Brandel and Hendry were seasoned sailors, having spent over a decade on the water. They were also members of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association. The authorities are currently investigating the possibility that their yacht was hijacked by three escaped convicts.

The suspects, Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 19, and Abita Stanislaus, 25, had escaped from their cells in Grenada on February 18. They had been charged with robbery with violence a few months prior, with Mitchell facing additional charges of rape, attempted rape, indecent assault, and causing harm. The authorities believe that the convicts stole the yacht from its mooring in St. George’s, Grenada’s capital, the day after their escape.

The fugitives were recaptured on February 21 in St. Vincent, according to the Royal Grenada Police Force. The police suspect that the American couple may have been killed by the escapees. Evidence of a violent struggle was found on the yacht, with belongings scattered and blood found throughout the vessel.

The couple’s sons, Nick Buro and Bryan Hendry, have spoken out about the disappearance of their parents. Buro described the situation as “completely unexpected” and “unimaginable,” while Hendry expressed the lack of a script for such a situation. Both sons are holding onto hope, but fear the worst may have occurred.

The couple’s dream was to sail the Caribbean, a goal they had been working towards for many years. They loved immersing themselves in different cultures and meeting new people. The president of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, Bib Osborn, described the incident as “very upsetting” and “tragic,” stating that he had never heard of anything like it in his years of cruising the Caribbean.