Relatives of the Florida newlywed who has been missing since a supposed boat crash that her husband survived have doubts about his account, according to reports.
Isabella Hellmann, 41, vanished at sea from a catamaran near the Bahamas on May 15 — just three months after marrying 38-year-old Lewis Bennett.
Bennett told authorities that the couple, who is from Delray Beach, had been aboard the 37-foot vessel when the boat struck an unknown object and began to capsize, according to the Palm Beach Post.
While Bennett was able to escape from below deck, he said that Hellmann was nowhere to be found. He told investigators that he had last seen his wife standing at the helm of the boat hours before the crash.
For three days, authorities looked for Hellmann before the search was suspended.
The Coast Guard says they have no evidence the boat was involved in a crash. The FBI announced that the agency had become involved in a probe into her disappearance.
Now, Hellmann’s relatives are raising questions about her husband’s behavior after her disappearance.
Hellmann’s sister Dayana told news station HPTV that Bennett seemed unruffled after the accident.
“He was calm, he wasn’t crying or anything. When I saw him I ran to him and I hugged him and I said where is Isabella? And he said I don’t know,” said Dayana, who did not provide her last name.
She said Bennett offered few details about the crash even though she kept pressing him for answers, especially about why he didn’t immediately search for his wife.
“Why didn’t you stop the boat and drop the anchor to do something about it? And he said he needed to keep the boat on track, so his priority was to keep the boat on track,” said Dayana. “I asked him, do you think she’s alive? Do you think she’s dead? And he said ‘I think she she’s asleep.’ That was his answer.”
According to her, Bennett has allegedly since fled the country with the couple’s 9-month-old daughter, who he picked up from Hellmann’s family.
“He said move, move I’m leaving and you’re not going to see the baby again and my mom passed out on the floor,” said Dayana.
Bennett holds dual citizenship in the UK and Australia.