U.S. Couple Whose Yacht Was Hijacked In Grenada May Have Been Thrown Overboard, Presumed Dead 

le maxi-catamaran "Orange II", skippé par le Français Bruno Peyron, navigue aux allures de grand largue le 18 février 2004 au large de l'île d'Ouessant, après avoir passé la ligne de départ du "Trophée Jules Verne", tour du monde en équipage à la voile sans escale. Bruno Peyron, avec l'aide de ses 14 membres d'équipage, tente de battre le record de la course qu'il détient depuis le 05 mai 2002 en 64 jours 8 heures 37 minutes et 2' secondes. AFP PHOTO MARCEL MOCHET (Photo by MARCEL MOCHET / AFP) (Photo by MARCEL MOCHET/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by MARCEL MOCHET / AFP) (Photo by MARCEL MOCHET/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
12:40 PM – Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Authorities announced that the American couple who were believed to have been thrown overboard in the Caribbean Sea after three fugitive convicts took over their catamaran yacht, are “presumed dead.”


On Monday, Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force stated that an American couple are presumed dead after they disappeared from their yacht in Grenada, in which they left behind proof of a bloody trail.

The last known location of Ralph Hendry, 66, and his spouse Kathy Brandel, 71, was near Grand Anse Beach in Grenada on February 18th

According to Junior Simmons, a spokesman for the Royal Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, the couple’s catamaran, called “Simplicity,” was found abandoned in St. Vincent. There were indications of violence on the vessel.

Hendry and Brandel were most likely thrown into the ocean after their vessel was hijacked.

“Based on the investigation thus far, it is presumed that Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel are deceased,” Simmons said in a video statement on Monday.

Don McKenzie, the commissioner of Royal Grenada Police, added that he is sending his “condolences” to the families of the two American boaters, who were most likely “disposed of” at sea by escaped inmates. According to McKenzie, there is a “low probability” that Henry and Brandel are still alive.

On February 18th, three offenders broke out of custody and “commandeered” the couple’s boat before sailing north. According to police, the escapees boarded the yacht while it was parked in the Grenadan region of St. George.

“They headed to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Information suggests that while traveling between Grenada and St. Vincent, they disposed of the occupants,” McKenzie explained to the press.

The suspects, who have since been arrested, are being examined for multiple criminal acts, such as “bodily harm to the couple,” according to Simmons.

The Royal Grenada Police Force identified the escaped prisoners as Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 19, and Abita Stanislaus, 25.

In December 2023, all three men were taken into custody and charged with one count of violent robbery. According to authorities, Mitchell was also accused with two charges of indecent assault and causing damage, three counts of attempted rape, and one count of rape.

McKenzie stated that the police have opened an inquiry into the escape and are trying to determine if there was a “slip up” or “a system failure.” The police holding station, where the three individuals were being kept, provides “sufficient safety to prevent an incident like that (from) occurring,” he said, adding that “all aspects of that investigation are on the table.”

According to Simmons, the three men entered a guilty plea to four counts each of immigration-related offenses when they appeared in court on Monday in St. Vincent. One of the counts involved the men entering the island without a passport, making them “prohibited immigrants.”

A sentencing hearing is set for March.

The couple’s relatives created a GoFundMe page that describes Hendry and Brandel as “seasoned sailors who lived on their beloved catamaran.” According to their GoFundMe page, the couple sailed during their retirement. 

“This heartbreaking tragedy has left not only the sailing community, but also their families, shattered,” the GoFundMe page reads, adding that Brandel had welcomed her first grandchild recently.

Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts

Share this post!