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Blood found on kidnapped American’s yacht during Caribbean prison escape

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A retired American couple is “presumed dead” after three prison escapees from a Caribbean island seized a yacht to escape, local authorities said late Monday afternoon.

St. Louis Police Superintendent Junior Simmons said Ralph Hendry, 66, and his wife, Kathy Blundell, 71, were killed on February 18 near the shores of Grand Anse Beach, a tourist spot in Grenada. He was kidnapped when fugitives hijacked a moored yacht. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Simmons said bloodstains were found in the dilapidated ruins of the Virginia couple’s prized possession, Simplicity. The property was abandoned approximately 110 miles off the island of St. Vincent, a southern Caribbean country.

“While sailing from Grenada, the suspects committed several criminal acts, including causing physical harm to the couple.”

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Ralph Hendry, 66, and his wife Kathy Blundell, 71, were kidnapped by escaped convicts while on the run from authorities on the Caribbean island of Grenada and are “presumed dead.” (Nick Bro)

Before the press conference, loved ones and authorities had hoped that Hendry and Blundell would be found alive, but the outlook was bleak at best.

Royal Grenada Police Commissioner Don McKenzie said at an earlier press conference that the three escapees had “disposed of a resident” somewhere between St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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He said there was “no conclusive evidence” that they had died, but said there was a good chance they were still alive.

“While the odds may be low, we still hold out hope that they will be found alive somewhere,” McKenzie said early Monday.

Simmons said the search for Hendry and Blundell continued Monday night.

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with a case involving a Virginia couple that could have resulted in death.

Suspects were arrested in connection with the couple’s disappearance. (RSVG Police, via Facebook)

Officials say the suspects, Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 19, and Abita Stanislaus, 25, fled from the South St. George Police Department on February 18. did.

The next day, police say they took the couple’s boat by force and left.

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On February 21, the three suspects were arrested by St. Vincent Police and are being held on multiple immigration charges as a joint investigation into the hijacking and method of escape continues.

McKenzie said at a news conference Monday that he personally inspected the prison cells and found nothing unusual with the doors or locks.

“We are satisfied that proper procedures were followed and there should not have been an escape.”

Locate Grenada Google Maps image

This map shows the location of Grenada in the Caribbean where the couple is feared to have died. (Google Maps)

Mr McKenzie said he had instructed senior investigators to “carry out a thorough investigation” to find out what happened.

Asked if there was any possibility of bribery or collusion, he said: “All aspects are on the table.”

As of Monday morning, the supervisor who oversaw the prison where the inmates escaped had been placed on leave, reassigned and could be fired pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

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Mr McKenzie said more prison staff were likely to face disciplinary action as the investigation continued.

“It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we share the devastating news of the senseless act of violence that tragically claimed the lives of Ralph Hendry and Kathy Blundell,” a family friend wrote on GoFundMe. . $53,000 as of Monday night.

“Kathy and Ralph were experienced sailors who lived on their beloved catamaran Simplicity. Seasoned adventurers, Cathy and Ralph spent their retirement sailing on the Simplicity and spending their summers in New England. “Their Last Voyage” When the Simplicity was found abandoned in St. Vincent, the crew of the Salty Dawg Sailing Association were forced into a violent struggle. The incident took an unthinkable turn, leaving behind grisly evidence. ”

"simplicity"

A Virginia couple who were enjoying their retirement cruising the Caribbean on a yacht are feared to have died after three escaped convicts hijacked their boat. (Salty Dawg Sailing Association)

Latest statement from sons

Last weekend, the couple’s two sons, Brian Hendry and Nick Brough, released a statement.

“We would like to reach out to the entire cruiser community to express our gratitude to everyone who worked tirelessly to gather information from witnesses and assist with search and rescue,” they wrote. “It means so much to us that so many people cared about Ralph and Kathy as friends and cruisers and stopped to help in any way they could.”

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“Thanks to input from this community, we are able to create a timeline of events. For the safety of the cruising community, we urge all cruisers and all crew members not affiliated with competent authorities to “We are asking you to come down. The only way we think this situation could get worse is if someone is injured or put in danger trying to conduct a search,” they continued. Ta.

“We would also like to applaud the swift actions of the St. Vincent authorities to secure simplicity and the brave and swift response that led to the arrest of three dangerous fugitives. St. Vincent Police and the Royal Grenada Police Department We are extremely grateful to the police for their cooperation. The Coast Guard is investigating these events,” the sons wrote.

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