Friday, March 31, 2006

Natalee Holloway: New search, other developments

In the past week or two, the investigation into what really happened to Natalee Holloway has been generating headlines again.
First and foremost, police are going to conduct another search of the sand dunes in northern Aruba (story here):

Sources: Search Resuming For Natalee
March 29, 2006
(CBS) CBS News has learned that authorities in
Aruba are resuming the search Wednesday for missing Alabama teenager Natalee
Holloway. The lead investigator in the case calls this the "critical last phase"
of the search. Holloway vanished nearly 10 months ago while on a high school
graduation trip. 48 Hours Mystery correspondent Troy Roberts told The Early Show
co-anchor Julie Chen Wednesday that Aruba's Deputy Police Chief, Gerald Dompig,
is hoping new clues help authorities find her. "They're bringing in cadaver dogs
from Holland to search the dunes, and also the beach area near the Marriott
hotel, where the prime suspect, Joran van der Sloot, said he last saw Natalee," Roberts said (video). "They're also bringing in
ground radar equipment that was used to try to find mass graves in Bosnia. And,
finally, they're comparing satellite images of this area taken before Natalee
disappeared last May and photos taken (more recently) to see if there's, like, a
shift or something peculiar, changes in the landscape, to help pinpoint a burial
location." This is costing lots of money, Roberts pointed out, adding: "They've
looked at this area before, but what they're doing is acting on a tip that they
received a couple of months ago from an anonymous tipster, they believe from
outside of Aruba, either Colombia or Venezuela. This person was privy to details
about the circumstances surrounding Natalee's disappearance that had not yet
been made public. "They're using that information along with new clues developed
by the FBI and the Dutch forensic institute." The tipster may have been an
eyewitness to Natalee's burial, Roberts says. Dompig informed
that, "The information this person gave was too specific to just be
a story that was just made up by somebody." Roberts says Dompig told him this is
the "critical last phase" of the search. "So," Roberts said, "I think they're
just gonna go for it." Officials tell Roberts the renewed search should take
three or four days, but Roberts says that may be ambitious because, "This area
is the size of like six to eight football fields." Dompig has described the task
before searchers as "worse than looking for a needle in a haystack." Also, the
strong winds by the dunes could make it much more difficult for the dogs to pick
up any scents, Roberts said.

You can read the full 48 Hours story by clicking the link labeled "informed Roberts".
The statement on Texas Equusearch's website suggests it is prepared in case this turns out to be yet another dead end:
Dave Holloway wanted Texas EquuSearch to express the family's appreciation to
those that continue to support the search for their beloved Natalee. He wanted
you to know that we are currently on standby as we await Aruba PD's search of
the sand dune areas. After that area is cleared, TES will be returning to Aruba
to finish the search of the ocean. Dave feels this case will be resolved and
that no one intends to give up until Natalee is brought home

Second and more recently, police have a new plan to generate leads: A re-enactment of Natalee's last hours will be aired on Dutch television (
Aruba seeks clues in Holloway case with re-enactment show
By Margaret Wever
Associated Press Writer
ORANJESTAD, Aruba — Police have been dispatched from
the Netherlands to assist in the search for missing American teenager Natalee
Holloway, including a televised re-enactment of her last known hours on the
island, officials said Wednesday.
The Dutch television program, to air on
April 11 in Aruba and the Netherlands, will trace her movements on the Dutch
Caribbean island and offer a toll-free, multi-lingual hot line for people to
call with tips, the Aruba Public Prosecutor's Office said.
Holloway of
Mountain Brook was last seen on May 30, the final night of her high school
graduation trip to the island.
Investigators believe there are people on the
island who have important information about the case but have not yet come
forward, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
The program,
"Opsporing Verzocht," which translates as "Arrest Requested," has helped
authorities solve 30 percent of cases it has featured over the past 22 years,
the prosecutor's office said.
Dutch police spokesman Ed Kraszewski confirmed
that a group of police officers went to Aruba from the Netherlands to help in
the Holloway case, but wouldn't give details.
Dutch Marines, the FBI and
hundreds of volunteers have previously searched for Holloway, who was 18 when
she disappeared.
Aruban Deputy Police Chief Gerald Dompig said on Friday
that searches for Holloway's body were ongoing and would continue through the
coming weeks in sand dunes along the island's northern tip and a salt pond near
the hotel where she stayed.
Holloway was last seen leaving a bar with three
young men, who were arrested in June and later released after a court ruled
there was insufficient evidence to hold them.
Remember, if you have any additional information on Natalee's disappearance, you call 1-866-SOS-LOST (1-866-767-5678).

Natalee's website:
You can sign Natalee's guestbook at .
Blogs related to Natalee:
Natalee's forum on Websleuths:
Also, wristbands are still on sale to help pay for searches. (I do not know if this includes the police one, but it probably will include the Equusearch one if it becomes necessary.) You can view and order them at

The photo accompanying this post comes from It aired on 48 Hours after the FBI discovered it on a classmate's camera. It is a close-up from the last known photo of Natalee, taken at Carlos 'n Charlie's the night she disappeared.

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