The father of Natalee Holloway announced earlier this week that human remains were found in Aruba, and they may belong to his long-missing daughter. But the Aruba Public Prosecutor is disputing Dave Holloway’s claims.
Mr. Holloway appeared on the Today show earlier this week to make the bombshell announcement, just three days before the premiere of the documentary series The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway, featuring Dave himself and T.J. Ward, a private investigator who has been working with the family for years. The docuseries premieres on Saturday on the Oxygen network.
— Louise DiMeo Gildea (@LouiseGildea1) August 19, 2017
On the Today show, Holloway claimed that a friend of someone who knew Joran Van der Sloot, the primary suspect in his daughter’s disappearance, gave him the location of the remains. That person, known only as Gabriel, told CrimeOnline that he befriended Van der Sloot’s friend John Ludwick, who led him to the remains. Gabriel said he was not with Natalee’s father or the private investigator at the time, and that he alone alerted Dave Holloway and local authorities about the discovery.
“When we determined these remains were human, I was shocked,” Holloway said on the Today show.
Aruba Public Prosecutor Dorean Kardol, however, disputed that claim, telling HuffPost that remains were indeed found in the area Dave Holloway referred to, but were not human remains.
“During an investigation by police in an area indicated by Mr. Holloway, we found remains, but they were found to be from animals,” Kardol said.
Holloway told HuffPost that the found remains are currently being tested for a DNA match.
“They are in the testing process. It’s a reputable lab and that’s all I can tell you at this point.”
When asked about public prosecutor’s claims, Gabriel said, “that is a total lie.” He claims that local police do not want the truth to be known about what he found, and said that when he first found the remains in April the police asked him if he had told anyone about them or taken any photos. He said he lied and told them no, and that they have no idea how much documentation and proof will be shown in the TV series.
“Now they are trying to lie? When there is solid proof? I am just going to sit back with an ice tea and watch them dig a hole.”
Gabriel is also involved in the Oxygen docuseries The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway, and told CrimeOnline that his non-disclosure agreement prevents him from providing additional information.
Dave Holloway told HuffPost that the remains had been moved to the United States for DNA testing. The public prosecutor said that the unauthorized removal of remains from Aruba could result in criminal charges, and that it would constitute tampering, which would prohibit the remains from being used as evidence.
“If we wanted to take the case to court, we would be in trouble because we could not use that evidence.”
Joran van der Sloot has always been suspect no. 1 but he's never been charged in Natalee's disappearance. What an informant is saying now. pic.twitter.com/Em68uCZrc1
— Nefertiti Jáquez (@NefertitiWSB) August 19, 2017
Natalee Holloway, of Birmingham, Alabama, vanished on May 30, 2005. She was in Aruba on a trip with 124 Mountain Brook High School fellow graduates. She was last seen by her classmates at around 1:30 a.m. as she left the Carlos’n Charlie’s nightclub in Aruba.
She reportedly left the club with a then 17-year-old Joran Van der Sloot, who has been the primary person of interest in her disappearance. In 2012, Van der Sloot pleaded to guilty to murder after Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez, 21, was found dead in a hotel in Lima, Peru. He still hasn’t been charged in connection with Natalee Holloway.
Additional reporting by Ellen Killoran
[Feature Photo: Family Handout]