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Virginia Couple Presumed Dead After Suspected Yacht Hijacking by Escaped Convicts in Grenada

A Virginia couple, Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel are presumed dead after their yacht, Simplicity, was discovered off Grand Anse Beach in Grenada, showing signs of a violent struggle, marking a tragic end to their Caribbean sailing journey.

Distress in the Caribbean

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The Royal Grenada Police Force is investigating the couple’s potential murder, linked to three fugitives who escaped jail and hijacked their yacht.

This early-stage investigation seeks to uncover the events leading to the couple’s presumed demise.

The Fugitives’ Escape

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The escaped inmates, identified as Ron Mitchell, Trevon Robertson, and Abita Stanislaus, fled a holding cell on February 18, just a day before the Simplicity was found.

Their escape raises pressing questions about security and the circumstances of their capture.

A Community Mourns

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Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel were celebrated members of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA), known for their experienced sailing and warm hearts.

Their loss has sent shockwaves through the sailing community.

SDSA’s Discovery

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A fellow cruiser’s discovery of the abandoned Simplicity, with evidence of violence but no sign of Hendry and Brandel, prompted immediate action.

The findings alerted police and underscored the gravity of the situation.

Escaped Inmates Captured

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The apprehension of the three inmates by police brought a semblance of closure to the immediate danger they posed but left unanswered questions about the fate of Hendry and Brandel.

Investigation Underway

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A dedicated team of investigators and forensic experts has been sent to St. Vincent to examine the case further, delving into the circumstances that led to the yacht’s hijacking and the couple’s tragic end.

Family’s Heartfelt Thanks

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The families of Hendry and Brandel expressed gratitude towards the volunteers for their search and rescue efforts.

They praised the swift actions of the St. Vincent authorities in securing the yacht and capturing the fugitives.

The Sailing Community in Shock

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Bob Osborn of the SDSA shared his disbelief over the incident, noting that such an act of violence is unprecedented in his experience of cruising the Caribbean.

The association stands ready to support the bereaved families in any way possible.

A Call for Reflection

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This tragic event is a stark reminder of the unforeseen dangers that can arise even in the pursuit of adventure at sea.

The sailing community is left to mourn the loss of two of their own and to seek answers in the wake of this senseless violence.

Continuing the Search for Justice

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As the investigation into the deaths of Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel continues, their loved ones and the broader community await justice, hoping for answers that may bring peace to their memories.

Honoring Their Legacy

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The sailing community and the families of Hendry and Brandel commit to remembering the couple not for the tragedy that befell them but for the joy and passion they shared for the sea, ensuring their adventurous spirit lives on.

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