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Blood found on kidnapped Americans’ yacht seized by prison escapees

via GoFundMe
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A retired American couple, Ralph Hendry, 66, and Kathy Brandel, 71, are presumed dead after three prison escapees from a Caribbean island kidnapped them and seized their yacht near Grand Anse Beach in Grenada.

The couple’s yacht, named “Simplicity,” was found abandoned with signs of a violent struggle.

“While sailing from Grenada, the suspects committed several criminal acts, including bodily harm to the couple,” St. Vincent and the Grenadines superintendent of police Junior Simmons said.

The suspects were later captured, and investigations are ongoing.

“We still hold out hope that, despite what might be a low probability, they would turn up alive somewhere,” Royal Grenada Police commissioner Don McKenzie said.

“I am satisfied that the proper procedures were followed, and we should not have had an escape,” he said.

“It is with profound sadness and heavy hearts that we share the devastating news of the senseless act of violence that tragically claimed the lives of husband and wife, Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel,” a family friend stated on a GoFundMe.

“Kathy and Ralph were seasoned sailors who lived on their beloved catamaran, ‘Simplicity’ … Kathy and Ralph, experienced adventurers, spent their retirement sailing aboard ‘Simplicity,’ spending summers in New England and embracing the warmth of Caribbean winters. Their final voyage with the Salty Dawg Sailing Association crew took an unthinkable turn as Simplicity was found abandoned in St. Vincent, bearing chilling evidence of a violent struggle.”

The couple’s sons expressed gratitude for the support and urged caution in conducting searches.

The authorities are praised for their swift response in apprehending the fugitives.

“We want to reach out to the entire cruiser community to express our gratitude for everyone that worked to gather information from eyewitnesses and provide search and rescue support,” sons Bryan Hendry and Nick Buro wrote. “It means so much to us that so many people cared for Ralph and Kathy as friends and fellow cruisers that they are willing to stop and help in whatever way possible.”

“Thanks to all this input from this community we are able to develop a timeline of events. For the safety of the cruising community we are asking all cruisers, and anyone that is not affiliated with the officials with presiding jurisdiction, to stand down. The only way we feel this situation could be worse would be if anyone was hurt or endangered trying to conduct searches,” they said.

“We also want to applaud the St. Vincent authorities for their quick actions in securing Simplicity and their brave, swift response that led to the apprehension of three dangerous fugitives. We greatly appreciate the coordination of the St. Vincent and Royal Grenadian Police forces and Coast Guards in investigating these events,” the sons wrote.

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