Natalee Holloway’s dad is going back to Aruba – with a private investigator and a cadaver dog.
A witness, who has been following the case for 10 years and trying to get police to listen to his story, is finally having his voice heard. Jurrien de Jong told Inside Edition that he witnessed Natalee’s disappearance in 2005, but he didn’t come forward because he was involved in illegal activities at the time.
But he knows what he saw – and he’s pointing at the man who’s been the main suspect in Holloway’s disappearance for years and is now serving time for another woman’s murder.
“I saw that Joran was chasing Natalee into a small building under construction. In about five minutes he came out with Natalee in his arms, and slammed the body of Natalee on the floor, and then he made an opening in a crawl space…I knew she was dead.”
Jurrien, who is Dutch, has also claimed to have seen van der Sloot bury the Alabama teen with sand in a crawlspace, the Huffington Post reported earlier this year.
Though police have considered the man’s account “implausible,” there are some threads of authenticity to his claims. Holloway’s dad, Dave, said he smelled decay when he visited the site de Jong described – a Marriott near the hotel his daughter stayed in, the International Business Times added. Her dad also recalled it being under construction when she went missing.
“I always thought the answer was right around the corner. Here we are nearly 10 years later and we still don’t know.”
At the time, Holloway’s dad arranged for de Jong to meet with Aruban officials. Now, he is heading back to Aruba to check out the facts with a private investigator. Aruban prosecutor Eric Olthof is also giving de Jong’s claim due attention. He told Inside Edition he’ll investigate them himself, and the process could take two months.
As for the new eyewitness, despite keeping this critical piece of information to himself when Holloway vanished, he has stayed on top of the case, the Times added. Apparently, he’s made three trips to Aruba, testified and anonymously tipped off investigators. He’s also been active online, tweeting about the case and circulating a petition to get his story heard.
But he came forward officially after an interview with van der Sloot aired on TV in which he confessed that he buried her at sea. If what the Dutch man saw in 2005 at the Marriott is true, the claim is a lie.
Meanwhile, her dad is on his way to Aruba, People reported, and maybe he’ll finally have answers. There have been few – the investigation into her case has gone cold, with clues few and far between since that fateful graduation trip in May, 2005, the New York Daily News added. The 18-year-old was never seen or heard from again, and van der Sloot was never charged despite being the main suspect.
He is behind bars in Peru for the next 38 years, however; convicted for the murder of college student Stephany Flores.
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]