Missing woman in the Virgin Islands had an angry American boyfriend: ex-wife

The ex-wife of an American whose girlfriend disappeared in the U.S. Virgin Islands describes sailor Ryan Bane as someone who is angry, unpredictable and narcissistic.

Bane, a convicted domestic abuser, allegedly pushed and routinely pushed his ex-partner and called her “b —-” or “c —“, according to his ex-wife Corie Stevenson, whose tooth she says says he broke down once hitting his face on the floor at his Michigan home.

“He’s very aggressive towards girls, but he doesn’t want to fight with boys,” Stevenson told Fox News.

Sarm Heslop, a 41-year-old British woman, has been missing for more than two weeks and was last seen on Bane’s 47-foot catamaran, the “Siren Song”. Fox News learned that the boat left the local port in the middle of the night; Bane’s whereabouts were unknown on Thursday morning.

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The mystery began when the two went out to dinner on March 7 and returned to the yacht at around 10 pm.

Bane, 44, called 911 around 2:30 am on March 8 to report that he was not on board. Virgin Islands police told him to contact the Coast Guard – but he didn’t for about 10 hours. Then he got a lawyer and did not allow the police to search his vessel.

Sarm Herlop (Courtesy: Virgin Islands PD
(Virgin Islands Police Department)

Heslop remains missing, despite a search in crystal clear waters and on land. Stevenson said he hoped that by sharing his story, he could add urgency to the missing person’s case.

Stevenson married Bane in 2008 – and the two divorced in 2014. She told Fox News that he was verbally and physically abusive and that “he will lie about everything”.

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“I want people to know about Ryan’s behavior and then maybe they can keep looking for the girl,” she said. “If you were just going to meet Ryan at the bar, or anywhere, you would think he is incredible. Everyone thinks he is wonderful. It’s what they are not seeing behind closed doors.”

He would “lose control” without warning – often because of minor offenses or unpredictable triggers, she said.

“With Ryan, you never knew what would make him angry,” she said.

Stevenson married Bane in 2008 - and the two divorced in 2014.

Stevenson married Bane in 2008 – and the two divorced in 2014.
(Corie Stevenson)

In 2011, Bane was accused of assaulting his then wife late at night after a long drive home after a wedding. She said she was behind the wheel and asked him to help her cross the back roads.

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“If you can take me to the highway, I can go home,” she said.

But Bane, she said, was irate, “like a giant 5-year-old” because she is asking for help.

“He kicked and screamed like a child, and he was kicking and screaming all the time, telling me what I am,” she said.

He kicked the panel – then the gearshift lever and then her legs, she said. She said she begged him to stop and dug her knuckles into his foot.

The photo of the 2011 Bane domestic violence prison reserve.

The photo of the 2011 Bane domestic violence prison reserve.
(Oakland County Sheriff’s Office)

“I think it pissed him off,” she said.

When they finally got home, she described Bane as “so angry” that he yanked her out of the truck on the passenger side.

“I was still wearing the seat belt and he pulled me out,” she said. “He still had the buckle.”

From there, she said that he grabbed her, pulled her hair out and hit her face on the floor, chipping her tooth.

“Then he turned me around and basically choked me,” she said. “And then he went upstairs and went to bed. He went to bed.”

A police report at the time described a similar course of events, and investigators noted other injuries, including scratches on the face, ear and neck.

Ryan Bane and Cori Stevenson in an undated photo

Ryan Bane and Cori Stevenson in an undated photo
(Corie Stevenson)

She went to the garage and called 911. The police arrested him in the room. Bane served 21 days in prison with a 60-day sentence, according to Stevenson.

He briefly returned to prison in 2013, after his parole was revoked, court documents show.

She said that despite some other reports, this level of abuse was a unique event.

She also claimed that he has problems with drugs and alcohol, stating that while they were married, she had stocked well in advance for the party they planned to host and almost everything was absorbed before the event happened.

On another occasion, she said that he took Xanax and froze on the couch while bringing a beer to his lips, spilling it without moving. After that, friends nicknamed him Tin Man, she said, based on the “Wizard of Oz” character, who sometimes froze in place.

“My darkest days are out there and now everyone on the planet knows,” said Stevenson. “But if it helps this girl’s family, then I think I’m willing to do that.”

Fox News has contacted Bane’s lawyer several times about the ex-wife’s allegations and has yet to receive a response.

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There was no indication that the Coast Guard or local investigators found Heslop in the surrounding area on Wednesday.

The FBI has confirmed that it is helping with the search, which is still ongoing.

Brian Cohen of FOX News contributed to this report

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