Missing estate agent's sister accused husband of killing her, police records say

Updated: 

The British husband of an estate agent who went missing as they sailed his catamaran at sea has been accused of killing the woman by her sister, according to police records.

New mother Isabella Hellmann, 41, disappeared during a sailing trip off the coast of Cuba with Lewis Bennett, who was rescued from a life raft after sending an SOS call.

Mr Bennett, a 40-year-old British-Australian dual citizen, is being treated as a "person of knowledge" in a joint investigation by US coastguards and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

It emerged on Friday that Mr Bennett was heckled by Ms Hellmann's family as he collected items from his in-laws' home with their nine-month-old baby.

Sister-in-law Elizabeth Rodriguez, 43, then made the allegation in front of an officer after Mr Bennett called police during the row.

"Elizabeth repeatedly stated that Lewis killed her sister," according to the report by the Boca Raton Police Department officer.

"I was unsure initially what she was talking about, but was told by Dayana (Rodriguez) that her sister was the one missing while at sea with Lewis."

The Palm Beach Post has reported that the newlyweds' home in Delray Beach, Florida, has been sealed by FBI tape stating "evidence".

Mr Bennett told coastguards that they were sailing on his 37-foot boat, Surf Into Summer, when it was struck by an "unknown object" in the Florida Straits at around 1.30am on May 15.

He said he had not seen his wife, an estate agent with Signature Real Estate Companies, since 8pm the previous evening, according to coastguards.

The search for Ms Hellmann was called off three days later.