Natalee Holloway

American Student Disappears in Aruba

On May 24, 2005, Natalee Holloway arrived in Aruba to celebrate her recent high school graduation. The 18-year-old Holloway was on the trip with 124 of her classmates from Mountain Brook High School in Mountain Brook, AL. She spent the next six days partying and was last seen leaving the Oranjestad bar and nightclub Carlos ‘n Charlie’s at 1:30 a.m. on May 30. Holloway left the club with a Dutch student named Joran van der Sloot and two of his friends. She never showed up for her flight home that morning and soon people were looking for her. Her packed luggage and passport were found in her hotel room, but no one could find the missing teen. Hundreds of people from Aruba and the United States turned out to join in the search, but their efforts were fruitless and Holloway was never found.

Police questioned van der Sloot and he and two other men were arrested on June 9. All three were eventually released due to lack of evidence. Van der Sloot was arrested again in 2007, but was again let go because of lack of evidence. In 2008, video footage surfaced of van der Sloot saying Holloway had died the morning she disappeared and he and a friend disposed of her body. However, he was under the influence of marijuana in the video and later claimed his statements were not true. In 2010, van der Sloot attempted to extort $25,000 from Holloway’s family, promising to tell them what happened to her if they paid the sum. However, the information he provided was soon proven false.

In 2012, van der Sloot was convicted of killing a woman in Lima, Peru and sentenced to 28 years in prison. That same year, Holloway’s father had her declared dead. Her body has never been found and it remains unclear what became of the missing girl. van der Sloot remains incarcerated.