Human remains found in Aruba belong to a “young woman of Eastern European descent,” a genetic profile that matches that of missing American teenager Natalee Holloway, the Daily Mail is reporting.
As of this writing, it’s too early to say conclusively whether or not the human remains found on the tiny Caribbean island this week belong to the missing Alabama teenager. However, preliminary DNA tests indicate that bone fragments found this week belong to a young woman with Eastern European ancestry. Natalee had Eastern European ancestry.
Natalee’s father, Dave, and mother, Beth, have both submitted saliva samples to a DNA testing lab so their results can be compared against the remains found in Aruba.
Full results of the DNA testing won’t be available for at least two weeks.
If the remains are found to belong to Natalee, it may finally answer some questions about the mysterious disappearance of the honors student and cheerleader, who was last seen alive coming out of an Aruba bar 12 years ago.
As Vanity Fair reported at the time, Natalee and 124 fellow graduates of Mountain Brook High School traveled to Aruba in 2005 for an unofficial graduation trip. Though chaperoned, Natalee and her classmates were able to ditch their adult supervisors and get into shenanigans in Aruba, as investigator Gerold Dompig would later reveal.
“Wild partying, a lot of drinking, lots of room switching every night. We know the Holiday Inn told them they weren’t welcome next year. Natalee, we know, she drank all day every day… so much drinking that Natalee didn’t show up for breakfast two mornings.”
—???? teknikservis.club???? (@teknikservsclub) August 25, 2017
Natalee was last seen alive around 1:30 a.m. on Monday, May 30, leaving Oranjestad bar and nightclub Carlos’n Charlie’s with then-17-year-old Joran van der Sloot. She was scheduled to fly home that day, but when she failed to turn up for her flight, authorities quickly realized that she was missing.
Joran van der sloot in de jaren. Ik denk als natalee hem zo zag was ze gillend weggerend pic.twitter.com/OuJif3K26f
— Marianne Markus???? (@T1NK3RBELL) August 25, 2017
Over the 12 years since her disappearance, her remains have not been found and no one has been charged with her murder. Van der Sloot was named the prime suspect, but was never tied conclusively to the disappearance. He is currently serving time in prison for an unrelated murder.
The case got going again in the summer of 2017 when private investigator TJ Holmes, hired by Natalee’s father Dave Holloway, found some leads that led him to the human remains that may be Natalee’s.
In an exclusive interview with In Touch Weekly, Dave Holloway said that he and TJ had been keeping their findings to themselves in order to avoid giving his family any unwarranted hope that Natalee’s remains might be found.
“How many of those things can you go through? I swore to myself — right then — that I would never involve my family and lay their emotions out on a lead ever again.”
An anonymous source close to the investigation told the Daily Mail that this is the most promising lead in the investigation in a decade.
“It will be agonizing if Dave and Beth are told this is their daughter, but after 12 years of searching for answers it will be a huge deal for them – it might finally bring them closure.”
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]