Isabella Hellmann mystery spans three continents, raises questions

A few months ago, we ran a story about the disappearance of a Columbian woman from a catamaran off the coast of Florida. Her husband, a dual British and Australian citizen with links to a solar company in Queensland, claimed he had heard a noise that sounded like a collision with a heavy object and had gone on deck to find his wife missing. Both the Coast Guard and FBI became involved and the mystery has since intensified as the catamaran, which had been located floating upside down, disappeared.

The story reads like a nautical thriller but it is very real. No-one can find the man or his baby daughter.

For those fascinated by theis bizarre tale, there is an update in the Palm Beach Post by staff writer Eliot Kleinberg which begins:

On Monday, a British journalist knocked on the door of a home in Hythe, a coastal Hampshire town about 85 miles southwest of London.

“We have been told not to say anything,” the resident told the reporter, sent by The Palm Beach Post. “He lives here some of the time, because we are his parents, but not all the time.”

“He” is Lewis Bennett, whereabouts unknown. The 40-year-old man has a mysterious back story, no permanent home or confirmed means of income, and a little girl who turns 1 this month and whose mother vanished at sea.

His story — and that of 41-year-old suburban Delray Beach real estate broker Isabella Hellmann — takes place in an array of locales that would fill the board game Risk, with push pins in no fewer than nine countries and possessions spanning three continents.

Bennett has insisted that as he and Hellmann, his wife of three months, sailed for home at the end of a weeks-long Caribbean honeymoon, he was jolted awake early on May 15 by his 37-foot catamaran smacking into something about 90 miles southeast of Key West. He says he came up from below and saw only twinkling stars. His wife was gone.

The Coast Guard spent four days scouring an area nearly the size of Connecticut, but on May 18, it called off the search. Either the next day, or perhaps even before that — Coast Guard correspondence isn’t clear — Bennett wrote to ask for a document the Coast Guard isn’t in the business of issuing: a “presumption of death.”

Isabella Hellmann’s vanishing, which has been reported across the globe, is notable also because virtually everyone involved won’t talk about it.

Continue reading at the Post here.

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