3 Escaped Prisoners Charged In American Couple's Deaths After Alleged Yacht Hijacking

Three Grenadian prisoners have been charged with murder in the presumed deaths of an American couple who authorities said went missing after their catamaran was hijacked in the Caribbean following a jailbreak.

Ron Mitchell, 30, Atiba Stanisclaus, 25, and Trevon Robertson, 23, face two counts of capital murder in Grenada over the deaths of Ralph Hendry and Kathleen Brandel, the Royal Grenada Police Force announced Thursday.

The couple were presumed to have been thrown overboard after the three men took over the moored boat on Feb. 19, one day after the jailbreak. The men were recaptured after sailing the catamaran to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, police have said.

Ralph Hendry and Kathleen Brandel's catamaran is seen docked in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Feb. 23.
Ralph Hendry and Kathleen Brandel's catamaran is seen docked in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Feb. 23. via Associated Press

The men face additional charges of escaping lawful custody, housebreaking and robbery, as well as two counts of kidnapping. Stanisclaus was also charged with one count of rape. Authorities did not offer more detail on those charges, including when and where the alleged incidents occurred or the person Stanisclaus is accused of raping.

Police did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment Friday.

While little is known about what happened to the couple, authorities have said that the two are presumed dead after their boat was found with apparent “signs of violence.”

“Several items were strewn on the deck and in the cabin, and a red substance that resembled blood was seen on board,” St. Vincent and the Grenadines police Superintendent Junior Simmons said last week. “There was no discovery of bodies on board the yacht.”

The three prisoners made their first court appearance in the case Thursday and are due back in court March 27.

The men had been in custody over charges of robbery with violence when they made their escape from a police holding cell in February. Mitchell was also facing a count of rape, three counts of attempted rape, and two counts of indecent assault and causing harm, police have said.