I Love My Soldier: Update Natalee Holloway

Jason was activated 01/31/2005
His deployment ended
and he returned home 05/13/2006
(a very long 15 1/2 months)


Saturday, June 11, 2005

Update Natalee Holloway

ORANJESTAD, Aruba - One of the young men detained in the disappearance of an Alabama honors student admitted "something bad happened" to the woman they took to the beach after a night of drinking, a police officer said, but the girl's family said Saturday that no body has been found.

Prosecutors refused to comment on the statement by Deputy Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig, who told The Associated Press that the man who made that admission was leading police to the scene. He refused to identify which of the three young men who took Natalee Holloway, 18, to a northern beach the night she went missing made the statement.

Police refused Saturday morning to say whether they discovered anything overnight to solve the mystery of what happened to Holloway, who was last seen in the early hours of May 30.

As rumors circulate on the island that Holloway's body was recovered, the family's spokeswoman Carla Caccavale told the AP: "The family confirms that a body has not been found."

Referring to Dompig's statement, prosecution spokeswoman Vivian van der Biezen said Saturday: "We neither confirm nor deny any information coming from other sources ... (about) alleged statements of suspects in this case."

She added: "Five suspects are being held ... and we are at a very crucial, very important moment in our investigation."

Police investigating Holloway's disappearance arrested a man at dawn Saturday, but later said he had nothing to do with the case.

The three young men arrested Thursday — two Surinamese brothers and the 17-year-old Dutch son of a high-ranking island judicial official — appeared Saturday before a judge, who was deciding whether police have sufficient grounds to continue holding them. Authorities have refused to say on what grounds they were being held.

Police also have detained two other men — former security guards at a hotel near the one where Holloway was staying. No one has been charged in the case.

Island-wide searches by Aruban police, Dutch marines and hundreds of volunteer islanders and tourists continued Saturday, said Ruben Trapenberg, a government spokesman.

Holloway's mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, is feeling the strain, her brother-in-law told the AP on Saturday morning.

When asked whether she was holding up, Tom "Jar" Twitty said, "No ... She has had amazing stamina up until now, but ..."

The women in the family remained sequestered in their hotel rooms while the Twitty brothers stood in the lobby, looking stressed amid a gay scene of tourists pouring onto a brightly colored bus outside advertising "Xtreme Party Cruise."

Holloway vanished during a five-day trip to the Dutch Caribbean island with 124 classmates and seven chaperones celebrating their graduation from Mountain Brook, Ala., High School, near Birmingham. Police found her U.S. passport and packed bags in her hotel room after she failed to show up for her return flight that day.

Holloway's family continues to believe she is alive, Tom Twitty said. Rumors that she is dead are "an aggressive interpretation" of what police are saying, he told The Associated Press.

Prime Minister Nelson Oduber said on national radio Friday night that if something happened to Holloway, it would damage the reputation of this island of 97,000 people, which depends on tourism and is considered one of the safest spots in the Caribbean.

In Holloway's hometown, her friends gathered after midnight at a church where people have been holding prayer vigils for her. Some hugged and cried; one woman left a flickering candle at the base of a wall decorated with messages to Holloway, who had earned a full scholarship to the University of Alabama, where she planned to study medicine.

Antonio Carlo, an attorney for 17-year-old Dutch boy, told the AP: "My client maintains his innocence."

Carlo refused to comment on the alleged admission.

Holloway's mother and stepfather told The Birmingham News in Alabama that they discovered the Dutch boy's connection to their daughter within 24 hours of her disappearance by talking to other students on the trip. They then found surveillance videotapes showing him playing poker with other Mountain Brook teens in their hotel casino two days before she vanished.

A lawyer for one of the Surinamese — Satish Kalpoe, 18, whose brother, Deepak, 21, also is in custody — said they told police they took Holloway to Arashi Beach, on the northern part of the island, in the early hours of May 30.

According to their police statement, they did not get out of the car, defense lawyer David Kock said. Instead, Holloway and the Dutch teen, an honors student at the Aruba International School whom she had met at the casino in her hotel, "were in the back seat kissing."

They also told police that they dropped Holloway at her Holiday Inn at about 2 a.m. and last saw her being approached by a man in a security guard uniform before they drove off, Kock said.

The brothers told police the young woman was drunk and refused to get out of the car, said Noraina Pietersz, who is representing Antonius "Mickey" John, 30, one of the two former security guards. He and Abraham Jones, 28, have been detained since Sunday and have denied any connection to Holloway.

The three young men said Holloway stumbled in the parking lot of the hotel but refused help from her Dutch escort, Kock said.

Holiday Inn employees say security cameras did not record Holloway's return. A Holiday Inn guard who worked the overnight shift that day said he did not see her, said Pietersz, who said she reviewed the guard's statement to police.

Unlike other Dutch Caribbean islands that are part of the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba fought and won the right to be independent a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the 80s. They have an independent local government with Holland responsible for defense and foreign affairs.


Post a Comment

<< Home