Natalee Holloway Search: Friend of Joran van der Sloot says he was paid to move, burn her body

A friend of the main person of interest in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway claims he was paid $1,500 to dig up Natalee’s remains and cremate them.

The shocking confession was recorded last year and aired in a recent episode of the Oxygen docuseries The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, a tipster by the name of Gabe said he befriended John Ludwick after becoming suspicious that he was involved in Natalee’s disappearance and death, given John’s stated friendship with Joran van der Sloot, the last person to be seen with Natalee before she disappeared in 2005 on a high school graduation trip to Aruba.

READ more: EXCLUSIVE: Tipster claims he found Natalee Holloway’s remains months ago; Dad anxiously awaits DNA results

Once he was convinced that Ludwick had information about Natalee’s disappearance, he contacted her father Dave Holloway. In February 2016, according to People magazine, Gabe, Dave Holloway, and private investigator T.J. Ward set up a sting operation, luring Ludwick to a hotel room in New Orleans that had been fitted with hidden cameras and audio.

While there, Ludwick told Gabe that van der Sloot had paid him $1,500 to dig up Natalee’s remains and take them to a crematorium.

“I can take you to where I… I got the remains,” Ludwick says. “That’s where the f**ng shit was hidden.”

Ludwick says he dug up the bones and brought them to a crematorium, adding that van der Sloot had allegedly put dog bones on top of Natalee’s remains in an attempt to further conceal them.

“I went in there with $200 cash … And said, ‘this dog means a lot to me and, freakin’, I don’t want anyone to be the last one to touch it except me. If I give you $200 can I push it in myself?’”

CrimeOnline previously reported that some portion of Natalee’s remains had been taken from the purported burial spot in Aruba. Dave Holloway and T.J. Ward first made the announcement of the possible remains last month on the Today show, just ahead of the Oxygen docuseries premiere. In subsequent interviews with CrimeOnline, Gabe said that Ludwick had led him to the remains in April of this year and that he took some from the purported burial site before contacting Aruban authorities and Natalee’s father.

Gabe could not specify in full detail what he found, but said he saw blond hair. Holloway and Ward saidon the Today show that the remains had been tested and were determined to be human, but further DNA testing was required to determine if they belonged to Natalee.

Those remains have reportedly been transported to the United States, but due to his non-disclosure agreement with Oxygen, Gabe said he could not confirm who brought them to the U.S. and how.

Last month, the Aruba Public Prosecutor Dorean Kardol told the Huffington Post that the remains were not human, and said even if they had been connected to Natalee, transporting them to the United States could have compromised the investigation.

“During an investigation by police in an area indicated by Mr. Holloway, we found remains, but they were found to be from animals,” Kardol told Huffington Post.

In response, Gabe told CrimeOnline that Kardol was not telling the truth.

“That is a total lie,” he said, suggesting that Aruban authorities wanted to cover up the possibility that Natalee had been killed and buried in Aruba.

Gabe said that when he reported the remains to Aruban police, they asked him if he had taken and photo or video documentation of the discovery, or told anyone else about it. Gabe said he told them no, although he had done both.

“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,” Gabe said.

It is unclear how or why any remains were left behind after Ludwick allegedly removed them for cremation.

Joran van der Sloot has never been charged in connection with Natalee’s disappearance and presumed death. He is currently serving a 28-year jail sentence for the murder of Stephany Flores in Peru. She was killed on the five-year anniversary of Natalee’s disappearance.


Feature photo: Facebook