3 escaped inmates from Grenada charged with murder after US sailing couple vanishes

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three escaped inmates from the eastern Caribbean island of Grenada were charged in the killing of a U.S. couple whose catamaran they hijacked, police said Thursday.

Ron Mitchell, a 30-year-old sailor; Atiba Stanislaus, a 25-year-old farmer; and Trevon Robertson, a 23-year-old unemployed man, were charged with capital murder, escaping lawful custody, housebreaking, robbery and kidnapping. Stanislaus also was charged with one count of rape, according to a statement from the Royal Grenada Police Force.

The men appeared in court on Thursday and were ordered held in prison until their hearing in late March.

They were accused of escaping from a police holding cell on Feb. 18 and hijacking a catamaran owned by Ralph Henry and Kathy Brandel while they were aboard. Authorities said they believe the couple was thrown overboard as the suspects sailed to nearby St. Vincent, where they were arrested on Feb. 21.

The three men were ordered deported from St. Vincent on Monday.

The nonprofit Salty Dawg Sailing Association described Hendry and Brandel as “veteran cruisers” who participated in last year’s Caribbean Rally from Hampton, Virginia, to Antigua, and had planned to spend the winter cruising in the eastern Caribbean.

Their bodies have not been found.