• David Smith

Man charged with killing wife who disappeared at sea

On Feb. 20, 2018, a man who claimed his wife disappeared when their boat hit a strange object out at sea was convicted of second degree murder. According to New

York Times, the couple were on their way to Puerto Rico, and "He intentionally tried to sink the boat to cover his tracks."

The suspect was identified as Lewis Bennett, 41; his wife, Isabella Hellman, was 41-years-old, as well. The FBI believes that financial greed was most likely the reasoning for the murder. "The affidavit also notes that Bennett did nothing to search for his wife, but he did rescue a tea set," according to New York Times.

Later that day, he claimed he went to bed around 8 p.m. and left his wife to keep watch above. The FBI said he falsely claimed she disappeared after the supposed accident. Her body has not been found yet, but the FBI says they are searching as hard as they can to find any evidence. However, "Investigators said they found evidence that Bennett had intentionally tried to sink the boat, which was a sailing catamaran," according to New York Times.

During the trial, Bennett was asked if he attempted to call for his wife; he said he didn't. He was asked if he made any attempt to save his wife, and he again said he did not. Instead, he attempted to leave in a life raft with luggage and other items.

Bennett has been attempting to get Hellman officially declared dead in a Florida probate court. "According to the FBI, if he did so, he would have rights to her home in Delray Beach and also access to her bank accounts," according to New York Times.

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