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Entries in Natalee Holloway (8)

Thursday
Jan122012

Natalee Holloway Is Dead, Judge Decides

Dana Mixer/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- An Alabama judge reportedly announced Thursday that he will declare missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway to be dead. The decision comes six years after her disappearance in Aruba on the last day of a senior class trip to celebrate their high school graduation.

The request for Holloway to be declared dead came from her father Dave Holloway who claimed in the court papers that because there is no evidence Natalee is alive, the time has come to declare her legally dead.

Natalee's mother opposed the court proceeding.

"Beth's position is she has no proof or indication that Natalee is still alive, but absent any proof or indication that she is dead, she always wants to hang onto that slight glimmer of hope," said Beth Holloway's attorney, John Q. Kelly. "No mother likes to, without evidence, have her daughter declared dead. She wants to carry around her around in her heart."

The court hearing comes a day after court proceedings in Peru where the main suspect in Holloway's disappearance, Joran van der Sloot, pleaded guilty to murdering a different woman. Van der Sloot entered the plea Wednesday and is awaiting sentencing by the Peruvian court. He has admitted to killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a Peruvian businesswoman, on May 30, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Natalee's disappearance.

Van der Sloot, a Dutch citizen, was never formally charged with Holloway's death in Aruba, but was arrested and held for questioning in the matter twice.

Natalee Holloway was on the last day of a graduation trip to Aruba with her senior class at Mountain Brook High School in Alabama when she did not return to her hotel. She was last seen in a car with several people, including Van Der Sloot.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jan122012

Natalee Holloway Expected to Be Declared Legally Dead

Dana Mixer/Getty ImagesUPDATE: An Alabama judge announced Thursday that he will declare missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway to be dead.

(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- The search for missing teen Natalee Holloway could officially end Thursday when an Alabama judge is expected to declare her dead.

A court hearing in Birmingham will determine whether Holloway, who has not been seen or heard from since she disappeared on an Aruban beach in 2005, is officially considered dead in the eyes of the law. Dave Holloway, the teen's father, claimed in the court papers that because there is no evidence Natalee is alive and that the time has come to declare her legally dead.

Natalee's mother, however, opposes the court proceeding.

"Beth's position is she has no proof or indication that Natalee is still alive, but absent any proof or indication that she is dead, she always wants to hang onto that slight glimmer of hope," said Beth Holloway's attorney, John Q. Kelly. "No mother likes to, without evidence, have her daughter declared dead. She wants to carry around her around in her heart."

Kelly noted that the hearing Thursday is likely a foregone conclusion, as the judge will ask to see any evidence that Natalee is still alive and, absent any, will declare her dead. She will either be declared dead Thursday or after another formal waiting period, he said.

Neither he nor Holloway would attend the hearing, he said.

Beth Holloway, who is now divorced from the girl's father, recently called Dave's actions "inexplicable" and said she was taken by surprise when she found out Dave had filed the petition in Birmingham court.

The court hearing comes a day after court proceedings in Peru where the main suspect in Holloway's disappearance, Joran van der Sloot, pleaded guilty to murdering a different woman. Van der Sloot entered the plea Wednesday and is awaiting sentencing by the Peruvian court. He has admitted to killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a Peruvian businesswoman, on May 30, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Natalee's disappearance.

Van der Sloot, a Dutch citizen, was never formally charged with Holloway's death in Aruba, but was arrested and held for questioning in the matter twice.

Natalee Holloway was on the last day of a graduation trip to Aruba with her senior class at Mountain Brook High School in Alabama when she did not return to her hotel. She was last seen in a car with several people, including Van Der Sloot.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Sep222011

Natalee Holloway's Mom: Daughter Not Dead

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- The mother of Natalee Holloway, an Alabama teen who disappeared in Aruba six years ago, will fight a petition by the girl's father to declare Natalee legally dead.

Beth Holloway will go to court Friday to challenge her ex-husband Dave Holloway's petition for presumption of death, filed in probate court in Birmingham, Ala., in June. Natalee Holloway vanished on May 30, 2005, more than six years ago, at age 17.

Dave Holloway claimed in the court papers that because Natalee has not been seen or heard from, and there is no reason to believe she is alive any longer, the time has come to declare her legally dead.

Beth Holloway will oppose that petition in court, according to a statement by her attorney, in which he called Dave Holloway's actions "inexplicable."

"Beth gave birth to and raised Natalee, and will always hope and pray for Natalee's safe return," said her attorney, John Q. Kelly, in a statement. "If Dave seeks closure on such a personal and sensitive matter, it should be respected, but not imposed upon Beth in such an adversarial and public manner."

The two sides are due in court Friday.

Beth Holloway referred questions to her attorney, who did not return calls.

Dave Holloway could not be reached for comment.

Beth Holloway has been relentless in her efforts to find out what happened to her daughter, even slipping into a Peruvian prison to confront Joran van der Sloot, the Aruban man suspected of killing Natalee.

At one point, she agreed to a sting, seemingly complying with van der Sloot's demand for cash in exchange for information about the location of her daughter's body. The transaction was monitored by Aruba authorities, but van der Sloot left the island before the FBI filed extortion charges.

Before van der Sloot could be arrested on extortion, he was arrested in Peru and charged with killing a woman, Stephany Flores Ramirez, on May 30, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Natalee's disappearance. He has been in a Peruvian prison since.

Natalee Holloway was on the last day of a graduation trip to Aruba with her senior class at Mountain Brook High School in Alabama when she did not return to her hotel.

She was last seen in a car with several people, including van der Sloot.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug102011

Lawyer for Suspect in Aruba Missing Woman Case: 'No Proof'

Comstock/Thinkstock(FREDERICK, Md.) -- The attorney for a man being held in Aruba for the disappearance at sea of Robyn Gardner claimed Wednesday that there is no evidence that his client committed murder.

Gary Giordano, 50, is being held as a suspect in the disappearance of Gardner, 35, of Frederick, Md., who vanished in the same Aruba town where another American woman, Natalee Holloway, disappeared six years ago.

Giordano and Gardner traveled together to Aruba July 31, according to Aruba police.

Giordano has claimed that the two went snorkeling together around 6 p.m. on Aug. 2, but Giordano returned back to shore amid rough currents and realized Gardner had not returned to shore with him. He alerted Aruba police who searched the area with ships, helicopters and divers, but did not find any sign of Gardner.

Giordano was arrested Friday as he attempted to board a flight to the U.S., police said.

"They suspect murder but there's no proof, to my knowledge," said Michael Lopez, Giordano's attorney in Aruba. "I don't see any proof. There's no proof and no motive."

The Natalee Holloway Resource Center, a foundation started after Holloway's disappearance, has been offering help to Gardner's boyfriend, Richard Forester.

"It strikes a chord close to home because that's where my nightmare began, the day I got the call in 2005," Beth Holloway, mother of Natalee, told ABC News. "We want to be a first responder to these families, we want to be there to help them."

Maryland court documents show that a Gary Giordano there has a criminal record, including two orders of protection taken out by women that claimed he was violent. One was taken out by his ex-wife during their divorce proceedings.

Two women who say they dated Giordano told ABC News that he was terrifying, and another woman said Giordano stalked her.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug092011

Maryland Woman Vanishes Where Natalee Holloway Disappeared

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- A Maryland woman who apparently snuck away for a tryst in Aruba has disappeared in the same town where high school senior Natalee Holloway vanished six years ago.

Robyn Gardner, 35, of Frederick, Md., was reported missing last Tuesday by Gary Giordano, 50, also of Maryland.

Giordano, who has a criminal record that includes accusations of domestic violence, told police he and Gardner had been snorkeling off an Aruba beach around 6 p.m. on Aug. 2 when he swam back to shore and realized Gardner was no longer with him.

Giordano was arrested Friday as he was boarding a plane back to the U.S.

The Natalee Holloway Resource Center, which counsels individuals and families about the dangers of traveling abroad and offers help for those who are missing abroad, is working with Gardner's distraught boyfriend, Richard Forester.

Janine Vaccarello, co-founder of the center, said Holloway's mother, Beth, had been in touch with contacts in Aruba to make sure Gardner's case was being investigated.

Forester, who has been Gardner's boyfriend for the last two and a half years, told ABC News that she went to Aruba with Giordano without telling him.

"She told me she was going away on a family trip," Forester said.

Gardner and Forester remained in contact by text message and email until the day of her disappearance, he said. Forester began to get worried when Gardner stopped replying to his messages, and, on Friday, he contacted her family to find out what was going on.

Police began searching the shore and water around Oranjestad as soon as Giordano reported her missing, according to Ann Angela, spokesperson for Aruba's prosecutor's office. Police boats and helicopters, as well as coast guard teams, searched the area through Saturday, but found no evidence of Gardner. Angela said the water at Baby Beach, where the pair were snorkeling, is typically calm and gentle.

Gardner's mother flew to Aruba on Friday morning to meet with authorities and with Giordano, according to her brother, Andrew Colson. Giordano was arrested later that day as he was boarding a plane back to the U.S., Angela said.

Forester cast doubt on Giordano's story of evening snorkeling, saying his girlfriend would never have gone swimming that late.

"We went on vacations and I couldn't even get her to put her head under water in the pool. She was into makeup and hair, and knowing her she would have had a few cocktails already and would only be getting ready to go out that night," Forester said.

Forester said Gardner got divorced from her first husband in 2009. The pair had become exclusive about seven months ago, and she had been living with him six days a week in his Bethesda apartment near both of their jobs.

"We had definitely talked about marriage. We had plans to look for a new place to live" when she returned from Aruba, Forester said.

Giordano was also previously married. He divorced his wife in 2008 amid allegations of domestic violence, according to Maryland court documents. During the divorce his wife obtained an order of protection, court records show.

Court records also indicate that at least one other woman has sought an order of protection against Giordano and that he has several arrests for thefts under $500.

Giordano, who is not charged with any crime, is being held until this weekend, when he will again go before a judge. In Aruba a judge can order him held for another eight days. Giordano's lawyer in Aruba, Michael Lopez, did not return calls for comment.

Gardner's brother has started a Facebook page -- "Help Find Robyn Colson-Gardner: Missing in Aruba" -- which includes a description and pictures of the 5-foot-5, 130-pound blond, along with updates on the efforts to find his sister.

In 2005, Alabama high school senior Natalee Holloway disappeared in the same town while on a senior class trip with her school. She was never found. Holloway's family publicly criticized Aruba police for the investigation into Natalee's death.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov232010

Natalee Holloway Mystery: Jawbone Discovered Not of Missing Teen

Photo Courtesy - ABC News/Handout(ORANJESTAD, Aruba) -- A jawbone found on a beach in Aruba does not belong to missing American teenager Natalee Holloway, authorities said on Tuesday.

The determination was made using Holloway's dental records, according to a statement issued Tuesday by the Aruba Public Prosecutor's Office.

In the five years since Holloway disappeared while on a school trip, there has been no physical evidence to confirm that she had been murdered.

The Aruban prosecutors office said a Dutch forensics team was able to extract only a small amount of DNA evidence from the one tooth -- a molar -- that was still attached to the mandible. It was, they said, "of low quality."

Holloway, an 18-year-old high school senior from Alabama, vanished in the island country in May 2005. The suspect in her disappearance has long been Dutch playboy Joran van der Sloot, who has never been formally charged.

Van der Sloot, who was 17 years old at the time of Holloway's disappearance, is now being held in a Peruvian prison after confessing to the murder of Stephany Flores, 21, earlier this year.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov082010

Natalee Holloway's Mom Confronts Daughter's Suspected Killer in Jailhouse Meeting

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- The visibly shaken mother of missing American teenager Natalee Holloway pleads for answers from the prime suspect in the girl's disappearance in recently released hidden camera video of the dramatic, face-to-face jailhouse encounter.

"I want to know what happened and I want to move on, Joran," Beth Twitty is seen telling prime suspect Joran van der Sloot during a secretive meeting in September at Peru's Castro Castro prison where van Der Sloot is being held in connection to a Peruvian woman's murder. "I want to move on in my life and I can't close the book."

But van der Sloot offers her nothing more than a vague admission to making "bad decisions" and says he'll tell her more in a letter.

"It's very hard for me to talk to you. It's really not easy," he says in the video which was part of a recently released Dutch documentary. "I've made so many bad decisions for all the wrong reasons... I'm really very addicted to perks, especially gambling. That's why I've told so many lies."

Twitty tells van der Sloot that she's trying to help him.

"I felt like you didn't listen to me and I wanted you to tell me what happened and let me take her home," Twitty tells van der Sloot, apparently referring to the last time the two spoke in person five years ago.

"That's always been my problem," van der Sloot says. "I've never listened to anyone who's meant well for me."

After the meeting's conclusion, Twitty is left crying alone in the room, apparently no closer to knowing what happened to her 18-year-old daughter who disappeared from a school vacation in Aruba in 2005.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov012010

Natalee Holloway's Mom Speaks on Alleged Extortion Plot

Photo Courtesy - ABC News / Handout Photo(NEW YORK) -- The mother of missing American teenager Natalee Holloway spoke out for the first time about an alleged extortion attempt by Joran Van Der Sloot, the lead suspect in her daughter's disappearance, in which he allegedly offered to "bring [her] Natalee" in exchange for $250,000.

"He was ready to tell the truth and lead me to the truth and lead me to Natalee's remains," Beth Twitty told Dutch reporter Peter De Vries in a new Dutch documentary.

Natalee Holloway disappeared from vacation in Aruba in 2005. Van der Sloot, the longtime prime suspect in the teenager's disappearance, reportedly confessed to involvement in the girl's death several times, but later retracted the confessions. Van der Sloot is currently being held in a Peruvian prison, accused of murdering a young Peruvian woman in May of this year.

In the Dutch documentary, Twitty said that van der Sloot reached out to her nearly five years after her daughter disappeared, offering information that would lead to Holloway's remains for the right price.

"I will bring you to Natalee, but the information that comes from me has to remain a secret,” van der Sloot wrote in an e-mail to Twitty's lawyer, John Kelly, according to Twitty. “In return, I want to receive $250,000. If you're interested, I'll give you more details.”

Desperate, Twitty said she paid van der Sloot $25,000, but never received any information. Instead, van der Sloot traveled to Peru where a few weeks later he was arrested and charged in the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman.

The FBI launched an extortion investigation weeks before the Peruvian woman's death, but did not issue a warrant for his arrest at the time because they lacked sufficient evidence.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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