Escaped Prisoners and a Harrowing Incident: The Caribbean Tragedy of Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Mar. 4, 2024:The fundraising campaign for Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel, believed to have been killed in a harrowing incident off Grand Anse Beach, Grenada, has surpassed its $75,000 target. The couple’s tragic fate, allegedly at the hands of escaped prisoners, has prompted an outpouring of support, with funds earmarked for vessel recovery, funeral expenses, and family assistance.

American couple Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel are feared dead in the Caribbean island of Grenada.

As of today, March 4th, the campaign has raised $75,225 to help recover the Simplicity, the couple’s vessel and belongings, cover funeral costs, and provide support to the grieving families as they try to comprehend the depth of this tragedy.

Three accused criminals escaped from jail on Feb. 18 before they “commandeered” the couple’s boat and headed north, St. Vincent and the Grenadines police have said. Police have said the escapees – Ron Mitchell, Trevon Robertson, and Atiba Stanislaus from Grenada – boarded the boat while it was docked in the St. George area of Grenada. The three escapees were confined to a “holding” area at South St George Police Station when they ran away from the compound.

It is presumed they attacked the couple and threw them overboard. The three were apprehended in St. Vincent and the Grenadines by local law enforcement and are in custody there. Prior to their escape, they faced charges including rape and robbery with violence.

Nick Buro, the son of Kathy Brandel and Bryan Hendry, the son of Ralph Hendry released a statement noting: “Our parents encompassed all those values and so much more. If we have learned anything from this tragic event, it’s that we know they left this world in a better place than it was before they were born.”

They said “Ralph and Kathy lived a life that most of us can only dream of, sailing the eastern coast of the United States, living on their home Simplicity, making friends with everyone they encountered, singing, dancing and laughing with friends and family – that’s who Ralph and Kathy were and that’s how they will be remembered in our hearts.”

“We are grateful to have been raised by the strongest people that we will ever know, and we hope that we can follow in their footsteps and strive to be even half as wonderful as them. So many people have reached out with love and encouragement, sharing stories and anecdotes of their memories of Ralph and Kathy, and those stories are what we want them to be remembered by. While the end of their life may have been dark, they brought light, and that light will never be extinguished from the hearts and minds of the people who knew, loved and cared so deeply about them.We are ever hopeful that justice will be served,” the couple’s sons added.

A top Commander in the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) has assured Grenadians that ”heads will roll” following the massive embarrassment to the country over the manner in which three prisoners were able to escape from South St George Police Station and allegedly killed the two Americans.

“I suspect that there are going to be charges coming out of it (the investigation),” said the top officer who pointed in the direction of possible disciplinary charges.

During a press conference on Monday, acting Commissioner of Police Don McKenzie told reporters that RGPF is taking this matter very seriously and decided to assign an investigator to look into all aspects of the manner in which the prisoners escaped from South St George.

Mc Kenzie said he was prepared to share with the public the results of the investigation.

Meanwhile, a deportation order has been handed down from the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court in St. Vincent and the Grenadines today for the three Grenadians who are now the main suspects in a murder case of two US citizens. After pleading guilty to four immigration charges when they first appeared in court last Monday February 26, Senior Magistrate Colin John ordered that the men be deported from St Vincent and the Grenadines to be returned to Grenada.

The charges laid against the trio, Atiba Stanislaus, Ron Mitchell and Trevon Robertson are that they illegally entered SVG by boat and disembarked without the consent of an Immigration officer, entered without a passport, entered at a point other than an official port of entry and landed as a prohibited immigrant.