Kathleen Brandel: Virginia Woman Killed Alongside Her Husband Was Raped by One of the Escaped Prisoners Before Stealing their Yacht

Information suggests that the suspects allegedly "disposed of the occupants" while traveling between Grenada and St. Vincent, a distance of approximately 80 miles.

The Virginia woman believed to have been murdered alongside her husband by escaped prisoners who took control of the couple's yacht in the Caribbean, was allegedly raped by one of the assailants, police said. Kathleen Brandel and her husband Ralph Hendry were on vacation around the Caribbean when their yacht was hijacked and the couple was murdered.

One of the three men accused in the murder of the couple allegedly raped Brandel, 71, before the three attackers allegedly killed her and Hendry, 66, on their sailboat last month, according to the Royal Grenada Police Force. Ron Mitchell, Atiba Stanisclaus and Trevon Robertson have been charged with their kidnapping and murder.

Heinous Crime

Kathleen Brandel and Ralph Hendry
Kathleen Brandel with her husband Ralph Hendry X

Mitchell, Stanisclaus and Robertson had allegedly escaped from prison in Grenada before murdering the couple. Granada police have officially confirmed that Stanisclaus has now been charged with raping Brandel before her tragic death.

The three made their first court appearance at St. George's Magistrate's Court in Grenada last Thursday, the Daily Mail reported.

Atiba Stanisclaus Trevon Robertson Ron Mitchell
Atiba Stanisclaus, Trevon Robertson and Ron Mitchell X

They have been charged with escaping lawful custody, housebreaking, robbery, and kidnapping in addition to the murder charges. Their next court appearance is scheduled for March 27.

The Royal Grenada Police have not immediately replied to inquiries regarding the specific evidence leading to the additional charge, given that police have not yet recovered Brandel's body.

"Atiba Stanisclaus was charged by the Grenadian police with one count of rape on Kathy Brandel," police told the Daily Mail.

"I believe he is also facing another rape charge from a separate incident in Grenada," they added.

Kathleen Brandel and Ralph Hendry
Kathleen Brandel and Ralph Hendry X

The bodies of the couple have not yet been recovered since their last sighting near their moored catamaran named "Simplicity" in St. George's, Grenada on February 18, the day the three men reportedly escaped from a police holding cell on the island.

Police Struggle to Recover Bodies

Information suggests that the suspects allegedly "disposed of the occupants" while traveling between Grenada and St. Vincent, a distance of approximately 80 miles.

Kathleen Brandel and Ralph Hendry
Kathleen Brandel with Ralph Hendry Facebook

According to the police, it is believed that the escapees hijacked the sailboat while Hendry and Brandel, were on board. The abandoned sailboat was found anchored a few days later.

Police also found large amounts of blood on the ransacked boat, but the bodies of Hendry and Brandel were not located. The police theory is that the perpetrators may have thrown their bodies overboard while sailing towards St. Vincent.

The three men were arrested in St. Vincent on February 21 and were subsequently returned to Grenada on Monday. Following their return, they were arraigned in court and sent back to prison. Initially held on robbery charges before their escape, they are scheduled for another court appearance on March 27.

Brandel and Hendry were seasoned cruisers living on their sailboat at the time of the tragic incident.

The children of the couple shared a poignant statement in remembrance of their parents.

"We live in a world that at times can be cruel, but it's also a world of profound beauty, wonder, adventure, love, compassion, caring, and faith," they wrote in a statement.

"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."