Categorized | National News


The search efforts for the missing American newlyweds have been called off. The Royal Bahamas Defense (RBDF) will not continue their search until they find more “concrete evidence”, Commander Tellis Bethel told the relatives of Forrest and Donna Sanco.

The US Coast Guard have also ended their search efforts as they cannot proceed further unless invited by the RBDF, as the Bahamas is not in their jurisdiction. Tthey have to be invited or requested by the RBDF to continue.

The RBDF has been working arduously with the US Coast Guard since news broke a week ago that the Sanco’s, who were scheduled to arrive by a small Cessna plane to Rum Cay on Septmber 26th, for their honeymoon, never arrived and declared missing.

Donna Sanco’s son and daughter in law, Brandon and Erin Simmons travelled to the Bahamas for the first time last week to file an official missing persons report with the Central Detective Unit (CDU) under the instructions of Donovan Rolle.

Without such filings, the RBDF could not commence the search which made it impossible for the US Coast Guard to truly assist.

Unaware of this protocol initially, the relatives of Donna Sanco hired private chartered planes through a “ Gofundme account” to fly over the area of Old Bight, Cat Island and Rum Cay with hopes of any findings relating to their loved ones.

To date, the only promising evidence which maintained hope for the Sanco’s family members was a tire which was found on October 7 th, but not reported to the relatives until last week Thursday.

Coincidentally, this tire was the exact make and model Forrest Sanco bought for his plane in August. Moreover, Mr. Sanco purchased the Cessna 150-N3214X in August for the purpose of the newlyweds honeymoon.

The Journal conduced t an interview with Donna Sanco’s son and daughter who went into great detail about the knowledge of his mother’s honeymoon plans.

“On the 26th, I received a text message that they made it to Freeport and they were leaving that morning. She didn’t say anything about any other stops. She just said they were heading to Rum Cay. I said well let me know when you get there. I never heard anything back; this was at 7:48 in the morning.” Mr. Simmons said.

He continued, “We didn’t think anything of it because it wasn’t uncommon for her not to text for a few days and I understand that the services were not that great in Rum Cay since Hurricane Irma.”

On October 5th, Forrest Sanco’s employer had contacted his family members inquiring as to his whereabouts. Mr. Sanco was scheduled to return to work after his honeymoon on Tuesday October 3rd and return back to the United States Monday October 2nd.

A very concerned Sue McDaniel, sister of Forrest Sanco contacted Donna Sanco’s children to inquire of her brother’s whereabouts which raised red flags. Brandon Simmons then tried contacting his mother on her cell phone to no avail.

Through a mutual friend of Donna Sanco, Andrew Wilkinson was contacted and informed about the missing couple. Mr. Wilkinson then contacted Sargent Pyfrom on Rum Cay from the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) to get the ball rolling on search efforts for the missing newlyweds.

Sargent Pyfrom then dispatched local police on Rum Cay to look for the Sanco’s after contacting the caretaker of the Bed and Breakfast facility where the Sanco’s were scheduled to stay during their honeymoon. The police found no sign of them.

The relatives of the Sanco’s continue to maintain hope that the couple is still alive.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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