Missing Persons

Natalee Holloway: New Lead Or Another Dead End?

Natalee Holloway, 18, vanished without a trace on May 30, 2005. Although she was declared dead in 2012, the teen’s body was never found. In recent weeks, an alleged witness stepped forward, claiming he has new information about the heartbreaking case.

A native of Clinton, Mississippi, Natalee Holloway traveled to Aruba to celebrate her high school graduation. She was reported missing when she failed to report to the airport for her flight home.

As reported by AL.com, Aruban police immediately launched an investigation into the teen’s disappearance. In a period of three weeks, authorities detained and questioned seven persons of interest, including Joran van der Sloot, Satish Kalpoe, and Deepak Kalpoe.

As there was not enough evidence to charge any of the suspects, all seven were eventually released. In December, 2007, prosecutors formally declared the cases closed.

In 2008, prosecutors requested the case against Joran van der Sloot be reopened. However, their request was denied. Two years later, Joran van der Sloot was arrested and charged in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores.

Although authorities have their suspicions, no one was ever prosecuted or convicted in Natalee’s disappearance or death.

Ten years after she was reported missing, Dutch citizen Jurriën de Jong claims he has new information about Natalee Holloway’s death — and the location of her remains.

As reported by CNN, de Jong claims he witnessed a young man chasing a young woman through a Marriott construction site. Although he initially assumed they were horsing around, he became concerned when he saw the man carrying the woman — who appeared to unconscious.

In his official statement, de Jong said the man “pulled [the woman] by the ankles” into the crawl space below the Marriott hotel. However, the same man was later seen exiting the crawl space without the assumed victim.

Jurriën de Jong said he discussed his suspicions with local authorities and Natalee Holloway’s parents, but they never found any evidence to substantiate his claims. In fact, Marriott denies the site was under construction when the teen disappeared.

Aruba’s chief prosecutor, Eric Olthof, confirmed Marriott executives provided sufficient proof that “at that time, at that place, there was no construction.”

Natalee’s father, John, disagrees. In a recent interview, John Holloway said he clearly remembers the site was under construction in the days following his daughter’s disappearance. However, the area was never searched as it was thought to be secured to prevent trespassing.

John said he does not want to have false hope. However, he is not willing to completely dismiss Jurriën de Jong’s version of events.

Authorities have not confirmed whether they will consider searching the reported construction site for Natalee Holloway’s remains. Marriott officials said they have been, and will continue to, cooperate with the investigation.

[Image via Birmingham News]