The ex-wife of an American whose girlfriend disappeared in the US Virgin Islands describes the boater Ryan Bane as someone who gets angry quickly, is unpredictable and narcissistic.
Bane, a convicted domestic abuser, allegedly pushed and shoved her ex-partner and called her a “bitch” or “bitch,” according to his ex-wife Corie Stevenson, whose tooth she claims he broke once. banging his face on the ground in his Michigan home.
“He’s very aggressive with the girls, but he doesn’t really want to get into fights with the boys,” Stevenson told Fox News.
Sarm Heslop, a 41-year-old British woman, has been missing for more than two weeks and was last seen on Bane’s 47-foot catamaran, the “Siren Song.” Fox News learned that the ship left the local port in the middle of the night; Bane’s whereabouts were unknown as of Thursday morning.
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The mystery began when the two went out to dinner on March 7 and returned to the yacht around 10 p.m.
Bane, 44, called 911 around 2:30 a.m. on March 8 to report that he was not on board. Virgin Islands police told him to contact the Coast Guard, but reportedly failed to do so for about 10 hours. Then he got a lawyer and has not allowed the police to search his boat.
Heslop has remained missing, despite a search in crystal clear waters and on land. Stevenson said he hoped that by sharing his story he could add urgency to the missing person’s case.
Stevenson married Bane in 2008, and the two divorced in 2014. She told Fox News that he was verbally and physically abusive and would “lie about everything.”
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“I want people to know about Ryan’s behavior, and then maybe they can keep looking for the girl,” he said. “If you only met Ryan at the bar, or anywhere, you’d think he’s amazing. Everyone thinks he’s wonderful. He’s what they don’t see behind closed doors.”
He would “bolt” without warning, often for minor transgressions or unpredictable triggers, he said.
“With Ryan, you never knew what was going to cause it,” he said.
In 2011, Bane was charged with assaulting his then-wife late at night after a long drive home from a wedding. She said she was behind the wheel and asked him to help her navigate the back roads.
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“If you can get me on the road, I can get home,” he said.
But Bane, he said, was enraged, “like a giant 5-year-old,” because he was asking for help.
“He was kicking and screaming like a child, and he was kicking and screaming all the time telling me what a bitch I am,” she said.
He kicked the dash, then the gear stick, and then his legs, he said. She said she begged him to stop and knuckled her foot.
“I think it just pissed him off,” he said.
When they finally got home, he described Bane as “so furious” that he pulled her out of the truck on the passenger side.
“I was still in the seatbelt and he pulled me out of it,” she said. “It was still buttoned up.”
From there, she said that he accosted her, tugged at her hair, and hit her face on the ground, breaking her tooth.
“Then he turned me around and basically strangled me,” he said. “And then he went upstairs and went to bed. He went to bed.”
A police report at the time described a similar course of events, and investigators noted other injuries, including scratches to the face, ear, and neck.
He went to the garage and called 911. The police arrested him in the bedroom. Bane served 21 days in jail with a 60-day sentence, according to Stevenson.
He briefly returned to jail in 2013 after his probation was revoked, court documents show.
She said that despite some other reports, this level of abuse was a singular event.
She also alleged that he has a problem with drugs and alcohol, and claimed that while they were married, she had stocked up long before a party they planned to throw and that almost all of it had been drunk before the event took place.
On another occasion, she said that he took Xanax and froze on the couch while raising a beer to his lips, spilling it without moving. His friends nicknamed him Tin Man after that, he said, based on the “Wizard of Oz” character, who would sometimes freeze.
“My darkest days are there and now everyone knows it,” Stevenson said. “But if it helps this girl’s family, then I guess I’m up for it.”
Fox News has contacted Bane’s attorney several times regarding the ex-wife’s allegations and did not receive a response as of press time.
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There was no indication that the Coast Guard or local investigators found Heslop in the vicinity as of Wednesday.
The FBI has confirmed that it is assisting in the search, which continued.
FOX News’ Brian Cohen contributed to this report