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Isabella Hellmann's sister reluctantly backs out of legal fight with Hellmann's husband over assets

Posted at 4:16 PM, Jul 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-31 21:49:52-04

The family of a Delray Beach woman who went missing at sea is reluctantly backing out of a legal fight with her husband.

Isabella Hellmann's family withdrew a petition to gain access to her assets. Recently, Hellmann's husband Lewis Bennet had asked a judge to dismiss their request.

Hellmann disappeared more than two months ago from her husband's boat while they were returning from a trip. Bennett's 37-foot catamaran sank in the Florida Straits and Isabella was never found. He was rescued by the Coast Guard shortly after he said his boat began taking on water. 

Bennett told the Coast Guard he was sleeping when the boat hit an unknown object. He looked for Isabella, but said she was not onboard. 

On behalf of her attorney, Hellmann's sister Adriana DiFeo said she understands that legally Bennett has rights to all of her sister's property and assets. Attorney Mitchell Kitroser said that through Mr. Bennett's attorney he was made aware of what Ms. DiFeo's plans were. Bennett still sought to dismiss the family's petition.

Hellmann's family has not had any communication with Bennett since he left the U.S. for England with his and Isabella's now 1-year-old daughter. A Boca Raton Police report states that on the day he picked up the child from the family's home, one of Isabella's sisters accused him of killing his wife.

DiFeo said through her attorney that she did not support Bennett's motion to dismiss their petition. Kitroser released the following statement on DiFeo's behalf:

"Through Mr Bennett’s attorney, we offered Mr. Bennett full transparency and open disclosure of all steps Adriana would have taken as conservator, in an effort to work together with him, despite the suspicions surrounding his role in Isabella’s disappearance. Unfortunately, he was unwilling to work with us. Isabella’s family continues to pray for her and for her return as well as for the safety and wellbeing of her infant daughter, Emilia, who Mr. Bennett has taken and refused to allow them to see."

The family wrote to Bennett in hopes of visiting the baby in England for her first birthday last week. They never got a response from him.

The FBI is still investigating Hellmann's disappearance.

We have attempted to reach Lewis Bennett several times and have not received a response.