FBI Searches Home of Florida Mom Who Vanished at Sea on Trip with Her Husband
Hellmann vanished at sea while on a boat trip with her husband last month
The FBI executed a court-authorized search Friday at the Florida home of the mom who vanished at sea while on a boating trip with her husband last month.
Special Agent Michael D. Leverock confirmed to PEOPLE that the FBI searched Isabella Hellmann‘s Delray Beach apartment on Friday, June 16 at 9:00 a.m. as part of the investigation into her disappearance.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Hellmann, a 41-year-old real estate broker, shared the home with her husband of three months, Lewis Bennett, and their 9-month-old daughter.
Investigators were seen making several trips to vehicles with evidence bags, according to the Post, and were at the residence for more than 8 hours. Neighbors also reported seeing a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office vehicle. (The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)
Hellmann was reported missing on May 15 during a trip with Bennett from St. Maarten to Key West.
Bennett has said he was sleeping below deck when the couple’s vessel hit something about 70 miles from the Florida shore, southeast of Key West. He told investigators that when he emerged topside, there was no trace of his wife.
Bennett was later rescued by the United States Coast Guard, who searched for Hellmann for three days before suspending their efforts. The Coast Guard and FBI later confirmed they had launched a joint missing persons investigation into Hellmann’s disappearance.
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Upon his return, Bennett allegedly picked up the couple’s daughter from Hellmann’s family in the Boca Raton, Florida, area. A Facebook page dedicated to finding Hellmann claims that the her family has not seen the child since, writing they have “no sign of knowing where she might be.” Hellmann’s family fears that Bennett – who is an Australian citizen – has fled the country.
The catamaran that the couple was traveling on has also vanished, according to the Post. A relative of Hellmann’s claimed to the newspaper that authorities told the family that the boat sunk.
U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally told the outlet that “we haven’t had track of it or seen the boat since.”
Authorities never investigated the boast from a close distance, Lally said.