3 men suspected in the disappearance of a US sailing couple ordered deported from St. Vincent

Investigators from Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines stand aboard the yacht "Simplicity", that they say was hijacked by 3 escaped prisoners with two people aboard, now anchored at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard Service Calliaqua Base, in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Authorities in the eastern Caribbean said they were trying to locate two people believed to be U.S. citizens who were aboard the yacht that was hijacked by the three escaped prisoners from Grenada. (AP Photo/Kenton X. Chance)(AP/Kenton X. Chance)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent (AP) — Three men from Grenada suspected in the disappearance of a U.S. couple whose catamaran was hijacked were ordered deported from St. Vincent on Monday.

The men, Trevon Robertson, a 19-year-old unemployed man; Abita Stanislaus, a 25-year-old farmer and Ron Mitchell, a 30-year-old sailor, had pleaded guilty to immigration charges in a court in the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.

Senior Magistrate Colin John ordered that they be repatriated “as soon as practicable.”

The men had escaped from a police holding cell in Grenada on Feb. 18 and are suspected of hijacking the catamaran while Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel were aboard.

Police have said they believe the couple were thrown overboard as the suspects sailed to St. Vincent, where they were arrested on Feb. 21. They have not been charged in the case.

The investigation is ongoing, with authorities noting there were signs of violence aboard the couple’s boat found abandoned in St. Vincent.

The nonprofit Salty Dawg Sailing Association described Hendry and Brandel as “veteran cruisers” who participated in last year’s Caribbean Rally from Hampton, Virginia, to Antigua, and had planned to spend the winter cruising in the eastern Caribbean.


Follow AP’s coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

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