SHOCKING twists and turns have been revealed in the case of Natalee Holloway after the high school graduate was declared missing 17 years ago today.
There are still several theories surrounding the 18-year-old girl’s chilling disappearance from Aruba after prime suspect Joran van der Sloot was arrested for murder – and her body was never found.
But after nearly two decades, investigators are still looking for more information.
Law enforcement in the United States continues to seek information on the mysterious cold case
“Holloway’s whereabouts remain unknown,” the filing on the FBI’s website reads.
Authorities were alerted after Natalee failed to show up for her return flight from Aruba on May 30, 2005.
The young woman was in the countryside with her high school friends from Alabama for a graduation trip.
She was last seen the night before getting into the back of a car with three men.
Apparently, Natalee and 124 of her classmates had spent four days partying on the island before their last night of fun at Carlos’n Charlie’s Bar, Oranjestad.
The three men seen with Natalee were Joran van der Sloot, 17 at the time, and brothers Satish and Deepak Kalpoe, 18 and 21,
The three men were arrested and taken in for questioning.
The case caused a stir in the media after prime suspect van der Sloot suggested the teenager was sold into a sex slave while later claiming she was buried in the foundations of the building.
The three suspects were eventually released after being arrested and questioned by authorities.
However, van der Sloot remains the prime suspect as he murdered 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramírez in Lima, Peru – five years after the day Natalee went missing.
He beat the Peruvian woman unconscious before suffocating her with his bloody shirt in a hotel room in what he called an “impulsive act”.
Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to Ramírez’s murder and is currently serving time in a prison in Peru.
BETH’S RETURN TO ARUBA
It comes as Natalee’s mother, Beth Holloway, recently returned to the island to investigate alongside TV personality Nancy Grace.
The two were confronted by cops last month while filming for TV series ‘A Natalee Holloway Investigation’.
“They wanted to arrest us. They wanted to arrest Natalee’s mom,” Grace told Inside Edition last month.
The two allegedly filmed in a hotel without permission, prompting a police response.
However, Grace speculated to Inside Edition that officials “don’t want bad PR” due to the upcoming holiday travel season.
Natalee’s body has yet to be found since she disappeared 17 years ago.
A massive search operation for the teenager began after her initial disappearance.
Hundreds of volunteers from Aruba and the United States have offered to help – with the island’s government even giving workers a day off to help.
Dutch authorities even sent 50 of their own marines and three Air Force F-16s with infrared sensors to help search the shore, and $20,000 was raised to help fund the desperate search.
Mother Beth was lodged not only in the same hotel, but in the very room her daughter had stayed in during the ill-fated trip.
Natalee was not caught by cameras in the hotel lobby that night, but police commissioner Jan Van der Straaten said the student would not have needed to enter reception to return in his room.
The case was hampered by false leads and despite a thorough search for evidence, no clues came to light.
A local gardener has also come forward after claiming to have spotted Jovan by a pond near the beach at the Marriott Hotel – it was emptied but nothing was found.
A jogger also told cops he saw a blonde-haired girl near a landfill on the afternoon of May 30, the day after he was last seen, but no evidence was found.
On June 9, brothers Kalpoe and Jovan were arrested and charged with involvement in Natalee’s disappearance.
The three detained men would go on to change their story, with the brothers claiming Joran was left alone with Natalee in a fisherman’s cabin where he later claims he left her on the beach.
But Joran would change his story a third time, saying he was dropped off at his house, leaving the Kalpoe brothers to go with the teenager.
His story didn’t add up and the brothers were released on July 4, while Jovan was freed on September 3, all on the condition that they remain available to cops while the investigation continues.
‘NATALEE WAS WITH GOD’
Natalee’s mother told Inside Edition while the lack of information provided no closure, she still managed to find peace.
“Natalee was with God, and he wrapped his heavenly arms around her and took care of her, no matter what ordeal she faced that night,” Beth said last month.
Their family has offered a $175,000 reward to anyone with information that could reveal details surrounding his disappearance.
They then increased the reward to $250,000 without success.
Joran van der Sloot is currently in prison in Peru, but he has not been charged with Natalee’s murder.
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