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The yacht named “Simplicity” was probably the scene of a crime

Photo: Kenton X. Chance / AP

Police in the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines suspect that three fugitive criminals murdered an American couple in order to escape on their yacht.

The catamaran named “Simplicity” was found abandoned in the waters of the Caribbean country last week.

On Wednesday, police in St. Vincent arrested three men who had previously escaped from police custody on the island of Granada.

The Royal Grenada Police Force said on Friday that available information suggested the men fled on a yacht.

The investigators are now working on clues “that suggest that the two occupants of the yacht could have been killed,” the statement says.

Atypical trip for fair-weather sailors

Police have not confirmed the identity of the alleged victims, but according to US media reports they were a couple from Virginia who had repeatedly sailed from the east coast of the US to the Caribbean.

According to data from the automatic positioning system AIS, the yacht left the island of Grenada at around 10 p.m. local time last Sunday.

The speed of the ship was therefore uncharacteristically fast for the couple, who were known as fair-weather sailors.

"Upon inspection, it was determined that the yacht had been looted and it was apparent that an act of violence had occurred," said the Caribbean Safety and Security Net (CSSN), which collects information on yacht-related crimes in the region .

"Large amounts of blood were found in the main cabin and the two owners were missing."

The police identified three men between the ages of 19 and 30 who were arrested for a violent robbery offense as the suspected perpetrators.

One of them was also accused of rape and other crimes.