Statement Public Prosecution Aruba in investigation disappearance Natalee Holloway

ORANJESTAD - The Public Prosecution Service (OM) in Oranjestad, in collaboration with the FBI, has extensively investigated the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in response to a possible new lead. There was evidence of deceit, the OM said today.  


Statement OM Aruba 


On May 30, 2005, Natalee Holloway disappeared after a night out in Aruba. Natalee's disappearance still has an impact to this day. If tips are received that could lead to clarity in this case, they will be investigated by the judicial authorities of Aruba (the Aruba police force, other investigative authorities and the Aruba public prosecutor's office).  


American journalist G.C. van Susteren announced in May 2022 via social media that she had important information that could solve the case of missing Natalee Holloway.  


In June 2022, an investigation was therefore started by the criminal investigation cooperation team (RST) under the leadership of the Aruba Public Prosecution Service, with the cooperation of the FBI. The investigation mainly focused on the question of whether the information provided by Van Susteren was so concrete and correct that it could indeed lead to a solution. Unfortunately, the information has not been able to contribute to solving Natalee's missing. 


On the contrary, the investigation has shown that Van Susteren may have been the victim of deception and manipulation by persons from South America with whom she had come into contact and who, in exchange for payment, deceived her with false information. 


For example, Van Susteren received a postal package from Colombia, containing shoes and clothing that, according to the sender, came from Natalee. After forensic investigation (by the FBI) it turned out, among other things, that the DNA found in the box did not "match" with the DNA of Natalee or with the DNA of Joran van der Sloot. A shoe in the box turned out to be a brand counterfeit, which was also probably manufactured in 2019.  


Van Susteren also received various photos (and videos). The investigation into those photos and videos also revealed manipulation and deceit. For example, the photos of those suspected of being involved in Natalee's disappearance came from a public Facebook page. Other photos, such as a photo of human bones that according to the sender were the remains of Natalee Holloway, also appeared to be from the public internet. For example, one photo was cut from a 2018 newspaper article about a garbage dump in Costa Rica. 


The investigation also showed that there were no multiple independent sources telling the same story. All the people who approached Van Susteren seemed to be connected.  


It had previously been agreed with Van Susteren that she would be informed about the results of the investigation and also about the way in which the investigation was conducted. She indicated on two occasions that she did not wish to receive an extensive personal presentation from the investigators on those subjects. Today she was informed about the results of the investigation by means of a letter. Natalee's parents have also been contacted.