View Full Version : Alabama Girl missing in Aruba

06-03-2005, 02:10 PM
ORANJESTAD, Aruba (AP) -- The mother of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway called for more help from the United States in a massive search as police and volunteers in Aruba combed beaches and scrubland for a fifth consecutive day Friday on the Dutch Caribbean island.

Volunteers put up posters throughout the island with a photo of Holloway, saying she was missing. But the wording on the posters was changed Friday to add a caption under her photo saying: "Kidnapped since 1:30 a.m. May 30."

Authorities say there is no evidence that Holloway was abducted, but police commissioner Jan van der Straaten said "after four of five days you are afraid a crime has been committed."

Holloway, 18, disappeared early Monday as she neared the end of a trip to Aruba to celebrate her graduation from high school. Four days later, the Alabama teenager is still missing, despite an extensive search of the Dutch Caribbean island.

On the island remarkable for its absence of violent crime, hundreds of residents and tourists posted fliers to help the hunt. FBI agents helped the Dutch military and Aruba police scour outlying scrubland with helicopters and all-terrain vehicles but found no trace of her.

Aruba radio and television stations broadcast a reward offer from Holloway's family, though they did not specify an amount. The family promised to reward anyone who brings her safely to a police station or hospital.

"Everybody has been quite supportive," the teenager's mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, told The Associated Press. "I am not leaving. I am going to have Natalee with me."

Holloway's family wants the Dutch government to officially ask the U.S. government for more direct help in the search, Holloway Twitty said later at a press conference.

"We all have a common goal to find Natalee so we can bring her home," the mother said, thanking officials, volunteers and residents. She choked up as she finished the statement and left the room in tears.

Holloway came to Aruba for a five-day excursion with 124 seniors and 40 chaperons from Mountain Brook High School, near Birmingham, Alabama.

She was last seen around 2 a.m. Monday, Attorney General Caren Janssen said Thursday. Police discount the possibility she left the island, because they found her passport in her hotel room, van der Straaten said.

Hopes were lifted briefly just before midnight Thursday when a news photographer said he had seen Holloway on the west side of the island. Police rushed to the scene but found an island girl who fit the description but had brown hair, not Holloway's long blond tresses.

Dressed in the same blue-and-green striped, low-cut blouse and denim miniskirt that she wore at the beach earlier in the day, Holloway spent Sunday evening partying at Carlos 'N Charlie's, a popular restaurant and dance spot where tourists and locals meet in the capital, Oranjestad.

She left 10 minutes before closing at 1 a.m., said the restaurant's master of ceremonies Jose Hernandez, 38. "Nothing was out of the ordinary."

Friends saw her getting into a vehicle outside the nightclub. She did not show up to catch her flight Monday. Her stepmother, Robin Holloway, said Natalee was last seen with a local resident who claimed to be a foreign exchange student.

Police questioned and released three Aruban students who said they dropped Holloway off early Monday at the Holiday Inn where she had been staying, about three miles from Oranjestad, said police assistant inspector Jules Sambo.

"We don't have any indication as to if she is alive," Sambo said. "The whole population is aware that she is missing. The police are doing everything to find her."

Several family members arrived the day after she disappeared. Her mother and her father, David Holloway of Meridian, Miss., went on television Thursday night to appeal to residents for information.

"Natalee is a well-traveled teenager. She has traveled to Europe, Canada," family spokeswoman Marcia Twitty told ABC's "Good Morning America."

She added that Holloway would not get into a car with strangers. "This is totally, totally out of character for Natalee," she said.

The island of 72,000 off the coast of Venezuela has a reputation of being all but free of crime for tourists.

There was one murder and six rapes last year and two murders and three rapes this year. But all the rapes were committed by local men against local women. The two murders involved drug addicts who died in knife fights.

"Aruba is a happy island and a safe island," said Janssen, the attorney general. "We're looking everywhere."

This is sad but what is the US gov't going to be able to do when they are unfamilar with the area

08-05-2005, 11:28 AM
Well, we can only hope that the Aruban government officials move as quickly with apprehending these volunteer monsters as they have in solving the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Natalee Holloway..... :rolleyes:

Aug 4, 2005

Volunteer Group Blamed for Destroying Turtle Nest During Search for Missing Teen in Aruba
By Peter Prengaman
Associated Press Writer

ORANJESTAD, Aruba (AP) - An Aruban park ranger on Thursday accused a Texas volunteer group of destroying a nest of endangered sea turtle eggs while searching for a missing U.S. teen on a beach, a charge the group denied.
Rangers at the Arikok National Park on Aruba's northern coast found a nest of hawksbill sea turtle eggs that had been dug up, leaving dozens of the eggs cracked and displaced, said head park ranger Salvador Franken.

The nest was found on a beach in the park on July 29, a day after the volunteer group Texas EquuSearch had been searching the area for clues into the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway, Franken said.

"Our rangers checked the coast that morning (before EquuSearch arrived) and everything was OK," Franken said. "The next day we found everything destroyed."

Franken said the rangers didn't witness the eggs being damaged. But he said they believe EquuSearch was responsible because nobody else was seen on the rocky and isolated beach that day.

During previous searches in the park, rangers had accompanied the volunteers to point out sensitive natural areas, said Franken. But this time, EquuSearch showed up and began searching unannounced, he said.

Joe Huston, Texas EquuSearch operations director, said the group searched parts of the park July 28 but did not go to the beach area where the eggs were destroyed.

"I know for a fact that we didn't disturb any habitat and I highly resent that they think we did it," said Huston.

Huston said the Dickinson, Texas-based group wasn't digging on the beach, but rather using a ground-penetrating radar machine that was dragged above ground.

Huston said such machines were often used by scientists to locate turtle nests buried several inches (centimeters) below ground, so its weight would not have harmed the eggs.

Edith van der Wal, a volunteer with local conservation group Turtugaruba, said they had decided to leave what's left of the nest in hopes that some of the eggs will hatch.

"There are so many cracked that I'm not sure any will survive," she said.

Hawksbill turtles are found all over the world, but nesting mostly occurs on isolated beaches in the Caribbean and along the Gulf of Mexico.

The species are listed as endangered under Aruban law and also protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Texas EquuSearch has been in Aruba since late June helping to search for Holloway, who disappeared May 30 while on a graduation trip.