Disappearance

Mystery of what happened to Natalee Holloway could finally be solved after 12 years

Natalee Holloway (Twitter / Oxygen)

Some 12 years after the mysterious disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway, newly-discovered human remains found in Aruba could conclusively end the case as soon as next month, ABC News reports. The remains were found after an 18-month investigation led by Holloway’s father, Dave, and private investigator T.J. Ward in association with a documentary being produced for the Oxygen cable network. Using information shared by a former roommate of a friend of Joran van Der Sloot, the prime suspect in the case, Ward was led to a remote location where human bones were found. The bones, it was later discovered, appeared to belong to a young woman of eastern European descent — a profile that matches Holloway’s.

Holloway, who was declared dead in 2012, was said to be last seen with Van der Sloot outside a bar. She was on a high school trip to Aruba at the time of her disappearance. According to the informant, Holloway choked to death on her own vomit after Van der Sloot spiked her drink with the date rape drug GHB. Afraid of being caught, Van der Sloot allegedly stuffed her body into a burlap sack and buried her in a local park. Van der Sloot, now 30, is serving a 28-year sentence in a Peruvian prison for killing another woman five years after Holloway’s disappearance.

Holloway’s father has said that DNA tests should be able to prove conclusively whether or not the bones belong to his daughter. Results could be in by early next month. The prosecutor in Aruba, however, has questioned the legitimacy of the private investigation, and has said that if the bones do prove to be Holloway’s remains, that evidence still won’t be admissible in court because they weren’t found by Aruban authorities.

Asked about what would happen if the human remains found in the park do turn out to belong to his daughter, Holloway’s father suggested that he might finally be able to experience closure.

“It will be the end of a long, long journey,” he told Juju Chang of ABC News. “But we’re not there yet.”

Watch video coverage of the story from ABC’s Good Morning America below.

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