Boyfriend of missing woman in US Virgin Islands verbally abusive to former stepdaughter: ex-wife

Michael Ruiz
·5 min read

EXCLUSIVE: The ex-wife of American yacht captain Ryan Bane revealed new accusations about his alleged abusive past one month after his British girlfriend Sarm Heslop vanished following a night out at a bar in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Corie Stevenson told Fox News Thursday that he’d lost his temper "dozens of times" with her daughter Grace, then a preteen, and that it got so bad she couldn’t leave them alone together when she went to class or work.

"I couldn’t leave Ryan home alone with Grace, because he would be so mean to her," she said.

In one instance, Stevenson said Grace, now 20, was either 8 or 11 years old. Bane had sent her upstairs to find a television remote, according to Stevenson. But the girl didn’t find it and went back down to tell him.

He allegedly grew angry and shouted in her face when he found it himself.

"He got so pissed that he marched upstairs, pulling her with him, picked her up, threw her down on the bed," Stevenson said. "There’s a lot of instances like that that I didn’t find out until a little later. Grace didn’t say anything for quite a while."

Bane’s attorney told Fox News Thursday they are "not making any additional comments at this time."

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On another occasion, Stevenson said her ex-husband gave the girl, then 10, a slingshot. The mother wanted to establish some house rules, including not using it indoors and not shooting animals, but Bane brushed off her concerns, she said.

Then one day when Stevenson returned home from a grocery store, she said she came in to find Bane screaming at her daughter – who had splattered a gooey toy on a glass sliding door with the slingshot.

"I mean red-faced, vein popping out of his neck, insane screaming," she said. "I walk in, and Grace is standing there hysterically crying – and I’m like, 'What the hell just happened?'"

"He was like, ‘She could’ve broke the window,’" Stevenson said. "He was insane. I just grabbed her and left the house."

When the couple got divorced, Stevenson said Bane took her daughter’s dog, Hunter, whom he has been photographed with as recently as last month in the Virgin Islands.

According to Stevenson’s version of events, Bane had violated a stay-away order, and she called the police. An officer accidentally let the dog slip out of the house, and Bane has had it ever since.

As Fox News has previously reported, Bane was jailed for beating Stevenson in 2011 after a drunken night at a wedding – and then had his probation revoked for violating the terms of his release.

Stevenson married Bane in 2008 – and the two were divorced by 2014. She told Fox News he was verbally and physically abusive and could quickly lose his temper, especially around women.

But there were signs of trouble long before the chaotic split, Stevenson said.

"When we had alcohol in the house, he would drink it until it was gone," she alleged. "Pills the same way."

She also alleged that on more than one occasion he killed wildlife that she’d been feeding in their yard.

She told Fox News in March that he had killed a friendly squirrel in their backyard and left it in the freezer for her to find. On another occasion, she said he shot and butchered a fawn and tried to feed it to her – allegedly knowing she had been leaving food outside for it.

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When she heard that he’d briefly picked up anchor and left Frank Bay, where his boat, the Siren Song, had been moored during Heslop’s disappearance, Stevenson said she immediately began carrying a handgun with her at all times. And she said she'd slept with a shotgun at her side during their divorce proceedings.

"I have my concealed carry I don’t usually have my gun on me," she said. "But since this started, it’s on me every day. Everywhere I go, it’s with me."

Bane, a licensed pilot, could travel discreetly to virtually anywhere, she claimed.

Stevenson has said she hopes that by sharing her story, she could add urgency to the missing-person case.

Bane reported Heslop missing in the early morning of March 8. She was last seen in public with Bane at a bar on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands the night before.

After calling 911 to say she’d vanished from the 47-foot catamaran at around 2:30 a.m., police said they instructed him to contact the U.S. Coast Guard for a search and rescue. He allegedly waited roughly 10 hours to do that.

Bane has declined to allow investigators to search the Siren Song and police have not named him a suspect. The U.S. Coast Guard did board the vessel but Bane allegedly blocked service members from searching the cabin, resulting in a number of citations.

Stevenson, who knew Bane growing up and attended the same high school, said police not searching the vessel is "the craziest thing I’ve ever even heard of."

"Searching the last place where they knew the girl was, I would think that would be one of the first things that they do," she said.

Virgin Islands investigators have repeatedly declined to answer questions about whether they are seeking a search warrant for the Siren Song or if Bane is considered a person of interest, citing the ongoing investigation.

US VIRGIN ISLANDS MISSING SARM HESLOP: 'NOT NORMAL' FOR POLICE NOT TO SEARCH BOYFIREND'S YACHT, EXPERT SAYS

However Jerry Forrester, a former FBI agent and private investigator who specialized in the Caribbean, said it shouldn’t be difficult to establish probable cause and get a search warrant for the last place a missing person was seen.

"They have enough probable cause, I think," he told Fox News last week. "She’s missing, and she was on that boat...They’re just not doing their job."

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Anyone with information on Heslop’s whereabouts is asked to contact the U.S. Virgin Islands Police Department.