Georgia teen returns home after Cayman Islands prison release

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

After spending more than a month in a Cayman Islands prison for breaking COVID-19 quarantine rules, a metro Atlanta teenager is back home, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Skylar Mack, 18, of Loganville, arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday, where she reunited with her mother, the news station reported.

Mack and her boyfriend, Vanjae Ramgeet, were charged after Mack broke the county’s strict 14-day quarantine rules to watch Ramgeet, 24, participate in a water sports competition. She removed a location tracking device from her wrist in order to attend the November event.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The duo was initially sentenced to pay a $2,600 fine and complete 40 hours of community service after their violations, but an appeals judge issued a stricter sentence. Mack and Ramgeet, who both pleaded guilty, were sentenced to four months in prison, which was later reduced.

Mack, a Mercer University pre-med student, struggled to cope with her time in jail, according to her family.

“The stress, scared, she’s scared to death over there,” Skyler’s mother Rebecca Burt previously told Channel 2. “She’s by herself; there’s no family there whatsoever to speak of.”

The incident sparked calls for leniency from then-Georgia Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Purdue. Mack’s grandmother also reached out to President Donald Trump to plead for help.

The Cayman Islands, a British territory in the Caribbean south of Cuba, are a popular destination for vacationing Americans because of the pristine waters, lavish beach resorts and aquatic activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling and deep-sea fishing. The county requires travelers to quarantine for 14 days due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ramgeet, a Cayman resident and professional jet-ski racer, was also released from prison last week, according to the island newspaper The Cayman Compass. Mack is not allowed back on the island as long as the borders remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This story was first reported by Channel 2 Action News.