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Two U.S. citizens went missing and are feared dead after three prison escapees allegedly hijacked the Americans’ yacht in Grenada’s capital city of St. George’s, Grenadian authorities announced Thursday.

The three suspects “made their way to St Vincent via a yacht which was docked in the St. George area,” the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) said in a statement. “The RGPF is currently working on leads that suggest that the two occupants of the yacht may have been killed in the process.”

“It is believed that the occupants of the yacht were American citizens,” the RGPF added.

The RGPF identified the suspects as Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 19, and Abita Stanislaus, 25, according to the statement.

All three were charged with violent robbery — Mitchell additionally faced “one count of Rape, three counts of Attempted Rape, two counts of Indecent Assault and Causing Harm” — around Grand Anse Beach, according to officials. The suspects were in custody until they escaped the previous Sunday, the RGPF said.

The suspects reportedly hijacked the yacht with the Americans aboard at St. George and sailed to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadians Police Force, working with the RGPF, recaptured the suspects Wednesday. St. Vincent is about 135 miles (118 nautical miles) northeast of St. George’s by sea.

“This investigation is in its infancy stage,” the RGPF noted. (RELATED: Two US Citizens Found Dead In Upscale Mexican Hotel Room)

The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA), a sailing and holiday cruise nonprofit, identified the two Americans as Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel in a statement, adding that it mourned their disappearance. A cruising skipper who noticed the yacht “anchored and abandoned” off St. Vincent notified the nonprofit’s president, Tatja Hopman, of the pair’s disappearance and “evidence of apparent violence” the skipper had found on board, the statement noted. The SDSA then reportedly notified the St. Vincent Coast Guard, which in turn involved the RGPF and the U.S. Embassy in the investigation.

Hendry and Brandel were “veteran cruisers and long-time members of the [SDSA] from its earliest days,” the SDSA stated.

Family members set up a GoFundMe campaign for the missing which, at the time of publication, had garnered more than half of its $75,000 goal.

“We are aware of these reports involving U.S. citizens. We are monitoring the situation and seeking additional information,” a U.S. Department of State spokesperson said Friday, CNN reported. The U.S. government is collaborating with Grenadian authorities on the incident, the outlet noted.

Grenada, with its picturesque Grand Anse Beach and St. George’s streets and marina, remains popular with tourists. Its travel advisory level is at the lowest, “Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions,” according to the U.S. Department of State.

Another Grenadian suspect, Levon Date, was charged with the murder of Canadian citizen Wayne Smart in 2023 but escaped while attending a court session Wednesday, the RGPF said in its statement.

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