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New Evidence in the Case of Natalee Holloway’s 2005 Disappearance

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Natalee Ann Holloway took the world by storm in May, 2005 when she mysteriously vanished in Aruba during a high school senior vacation. This talented, beautiful honors student was celebrating her high school graduation and the beginning of a new college journey. She not only was accepted to the University of Alabama, she was going to study pre med, a very competitive degree. All her dreams instantly become her families’ nightmare when they heard she was missing after a big night of partying. Unfortunately none of her friends knew where she had gone.

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The Search for Natalee

The plot thickened as the Dutch authorities, friends and family, the citizens of Aruba went on a multi year roller coaster ride to find out what really happened to Natalee. Both a ground search and an ocean floor effort were made to find her. She was never found. It’s like a never ending story as new evidence continues to surface surrounding that fateful night. But it was Natalie’s mother who would never give up on her beloved daughter…

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Who Was Natalee Holloway?

Natalee Ann Holloway was a well liked, popular average teenager. Her parents, Beth and David had two children, Natalee and Matthew. The couple divorced in 1993 so the two children were raised by their single mother. Later Beth would meet and marry businessman, George “Jugs” Tweety and the family would relocate to live with with him at his prestigious Mountain Brook, Alabama home. Natalee and Matthew were enrolled into the local Mountain Brook School District. Natalie adjusted well and in high school had many friends, participated in National Honors Society activities and the dance team.

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A Senior Class Celebration

After graduation, she and more than 100 classmates made arrangements to travel to Aruba for a senior get away. Her parents had no reason to say no, as Natalee had been respectful, was a high achiever, followed the rules and graduated high in her class. And there were adult chaperones. But saying yes, may have been the worst decision of their lives and their daughter’s. Natalie never came home. She remains missing today, 12 years later.

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The Beginning of The End

The beginning of the end for Natalee was heading to Aruba with more than 100 students of her high school’s graduating class. They arranged for a group of friends to travel together to this exotic destination so on Thursday, May 26, 2005 the students and seven adult chaperones made it safely to Aruba for five days of fun in the sun and bars. According to the police the Mountain Brook High school students had more than just fun. One officer was quoted, “wild partying, a lot of drinking, lots of room switching every night. It was so bad the Holiday Inn, where they rented rooms told them they weren’t welcome next year.”

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Excessive Partying Was Reported

Authorities described Natalee’s and the entire group’s drinking was excessive throughout the entire day, starting in the morning. It was safe to say that Natalee and the entire group were having a great time, but were they safe? Natalee was last seen by her friends when she left an Aruban nightclub, Carlo’s Charlies at approximately 1:30 am on May 30 with accompanied by Joran va der Sloot, a Dutch honors student who she met at the bar. Interestingly enough, Va der Sloot is currently in prison for killing business student Stephany Flores coincidentally on the five year anniversary on Natalie’s disappearance….or was it a coincidence?

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Missing At The Airport

Natalee and her high school group were scheduled to meet at the airport to return home to the States the next day. Everyone showed up for the flight but Natalee. Her friends thought she forgot about the flight and was lounging on the beach, but their assumption soon changed. Her packed luggage and her passport were left in her hotel room, but without Natalee. Authorities immediately started searching for her as did local volunteers. Meanwhile, Natalee’s parents flew to Aruba and were instrumental providing the police with the information about Joran VanDer Sloot. The authorities and Natalee’s parents went to VanDer Sloot’s home who denied any wrong doing. He claimed he and a few friends had spent time with Natalie but then dropped her off at the front of the hotel at approximately 2:00 am.

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Hundreds of Volunteers Helped Looked For Natalie

A search to find her began immediately with Aruban and American volunteers. Aruban banks raised $20,000 to help fund the massive search efforts. The Aruban government sent their employees to spend time looking for the teenager as well as the Dutch marines and many others were put to work combing the entire island for any clue, including the ocean floor and surrounding beaches. Condoleezza Rice, the United States Secretary of State got involved and was in contact with Aruban authorities also providing substantial resources. But all the time and resources were in vain. No sign of Natalee was found anywhere. The media kept the story alive reporting on the efforts daily.

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But VanDerSloot Wasn’t the Only Suspect

Joran VanDerSloot had quite a bit to say to the authorities but how much of it was true? To keep them off his tracks, VanDerSloot told police that when he and his friends dropped Natalee off in front of the hotel, as they drove off, they noticed she was approached by an man in a black shirt. He and his friends thought the man was a hotel security guard. Later authorities arrested Nick John and Abraham Jones security guards that fit the description who worked at a hotel by the Holiday Inn. They were charged with Natalie’s kidnapping and murder. As were multiple people arrested and or questioned, including Dj, Steve Gregory Croes who had an airtight alibi and were set free. It was VanDerSloot who tipped off the authorities about him and many others.

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Who Was VanDerSloot?

Joran VanDerSloot was a handsome athlete studying in Aruba. He was originally from The Netherlands, the son of an art teacher and a lawyer.  Natalee was smitten with his good looks and charming nature, enough to leave the bar alone with him and two of his friends that night. He would be questioned again and again about his involvement in the case and after changing his story time and time again, we may never know the whole truth and nothing but the truth. As mentioned earlier, VanderSloot is currently in prison for killing another young woman, Stephany Flores coincidentally on the five year anniversary on Natalie’s disappearance….or was it a coincidence?

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The Plot Thickens

The investigation into Natalee’s whereabouts continued to baffle authorities. Because every lead they received and investigated was a dead end they all agreed and decided to go back to square one and interview the same suspects and witnesses. Oh, the difference some time can make. When police questioned the Kalpoe brothers again, the two men that were with Joran the night Natalee went missing, their story was quite a bit different than their original one. The two magically recollected that they had dropped off Their buddy VanDer Sloot and Natalee at the hotel beach near some fisherman’s huts…not in front of her hotel as they had originally stated. Were they saving their own skin? Or telling the truth?

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The Suspects Released

It was a good try, but the police didn’t have enough concrete evidence to hold Joran and his partner in crime, Kalpoe. But it is important to note that they were arrested later in 2007.  Joran VanDerSloot calm, cool and collected, was released again. Authorities couldn’t put their finger on it, but they knew there was even more he wasn’t sharing.

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The Story Changes…the Plot Thickens Again!

Years pass, but the search for Natalee continues thanks to her family’s love, determination and efforts. Then in 2010 VanDerSloot contacted Natalee Holloway’s mother saying he would share new information about Natalees’s body for $25,000. Thankfully, he was indicted on federal wire fraud and extortion charges and the information he claimed to have was not true at all.

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A Convicted Killer’s Wedding Announced

Joran VanDerSloot announced his engagement to a Peruvian woman he met in 2011 when she was distributing products to the prison’s inmates. They were married right at the prison’s romantic reinforced concrete walls that houses major drug and crime cartels. Reports indicate this woman has approved conjugal visits with VanDerSloot and she may have gotten pregnant with his or another inmate’s baby. He was quoted as saying he wants to marry, change his life and start a new life.

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Natalee’s Mom, Beth Never Gave Up Hope

Beth, Natalee’s mother continues to fight to find the truth about what happened to her daughter. She once even broke into a Peru prison where he was “doing time” for the murder of another woman to confront him. “It would be justice to me to see him serve time in the United States, justice for Natalie.” When VanDerSloot finishes his full sentence in Peru he will then face extortion charges in the U.S. for taking the $25,000 from Beth Holloway for the information about Natalee’s death. The information was false. When she was asked in a news interview if it would be hard to see him on American soil, she replied, “No, it’s not going to be hard, I take great comfort, I left him in a prison in Peru, so I feel good about that.”

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Coming Clean a Decade Later

Nearly a decade after Natalee went missing, Jran VanDerSloot was video taped showing him telling his wife and undercover reporter about his part that fateful night. He spoke in Dutch while he was smiling that he always lied to police, never told the truth. He continued to share that when he was younger he never told everything. “The police just never knew what they had to ask me.” He continued to say how he thought it was one of the worst police investigations that ever took place and implied that he was guilty of everything he had done. The video was produced by Radar Online.

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Natalee’s Story Becomes A Book and A Movie

Natalee Holloway is the title of the 2009 Lifetime Network television show directed by Mikael Salomon that is based on Beth Holloway’s book about her daughter’s mysterious disappearance. The movie stars Amy Gumenick who plays Natalee, Tracey Pollan who plays Beth and Jacques Strydom who plays VanDer Sloot. The show scored the highest television ratings at that time slot in the network’s entire history. This proved how Natalee touched so many people’s lives.

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Natalee Holloway Storyline

The Lifetime Network movie, Natalee Holloway shares all the events that led up to the fateful night Natalee went missing. The high school group vacation to Aruba, the outpouring of volunteers helping to find her the following days, her parents quest to find the truth and the slick background of her predator, VanDer Sloot. The film shares his many “stories” and reenacts each one to give the audience facts about the investigation in an entertaining way. There was even another television fim, Justice for Natalee Holloway that takes place six years after her disappearance sharing the encounters Beth Twitty, Natalee’s mother had with the F.B.I. trying to find facts to arrest Joran VanDerSloot. Reports indicated that VanderSloot watched the movie and said some of it was true and some wasn’t true.

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Beth Holloway: From Victim to Victor

After years of searching for truth, Natalee’s mother changed directions to help others. Beth Holloway now uses her daughter’s disappearance to teach teens about personal and travel safety. She considers herself to be a victor now, instead of a victim. She also started the Natalee Holloway Resource Center in Washington, D.C. to lend support to families of missing loved ones. The NHRC focuses on education and crime prevention and provides families with information and resources to assist them in the very important first hours of the search process. “What happened to Natalee could happen to anyone, “Beth said. She continued to say that Natalee could be your loved one, and you could me.

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