Suspects in Americans' Caribbean yacht hijacking charged with murdering missing couple

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Three prison escapees from a Caribbean island face capital murder, among other charges, for the presumed deaths of a retired American couple.

Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel were allegedly thrown overboard after the escapees from a Grenada prison hijacked their yacht and fled about 70 miles to the island of St. Vincent. 

That is where Ron Mitchell, 30, Trevon Robertson, 19, and Abita Stanislaus, 25, were recaptured and ultimately sent back to Grenada. 

On Thursday, all three were charged with two counts of capital murder, escaping lawful custody, housebreaking, robbery and two counts of kidnapping. Stanislaus was also charged with rape. 

SUSPECT IN AMERICANS' CARIBBEAN YACHT HIJACKING SHOT DURING ARREST, 2 OTHER FOUNDS HIDING: REPORTS

They each made their first court appearances at St. George's Magistrate's Court on Thursday, were sent back to prison and are scheduled to return to court on March 27.

Their victims – Hendry and Brandel – were living in Virginia when they retired and sold a lot of their possessions to buy and live on their yacht, called "Simplicity," which was reportedly left in tatters and covered in blood.

BLOODIED SUSPECT IN MISSING AMERICANS' CARIBBEAN YACHT HIJACKING TOSSED INTO TRUCK DURING ARREST, VIDEO SHOWS

They were docked off Grand Anse Beach in Grenada, a popular tourist hot spot that the couple sailed to, when the suspects allegedly took the vessel by force as part of their getaway.

The Americans' bodies still have not been found. 

Their sons, Nick Buro and Bryan Hendry, talked about their beloved parents in previous interviews. 

"Ralph and Kathy lived a life that most of us can only dream of," they said in a heartfelt message released to news outlets last week.

BLOOD FOUND ON KIDNAPPED AMERICANS' YACHT DURING CARIBBEAN PRISON ESCAPE: ‘PRESUMED DEAD’

They sailed off the eastern coast of the United States and "made friends with everyone they encountered, singing, dancing and laughing with friends and family."

"That's who Ralph and Kathy were and that’s how they will be remembered in our hearts," they said. "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. 

"Our parents encompassed all those values and so much more."

Authorities still have not said how the prisoners escaped. An internal investigation is underway, according to the Royal Grenada Police Force. 

Buro and Bryan Hendry's message focused on their parents as these issues unravel. 

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"So many people have reached out with love and encouragement, sharing stories and anecdotes of their memories of Ralph and Kathy, and those stories are what we want them to be remembered by," they said. 

"While the end of their life may have been dark, they brought light, and that light will never be extinguished from the hearts and minds of the people who knew, loved and cared so deeply about them."

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