There still has been no word on the missing teen, Natalee Holloway, who disappeared the last night of a trip to Aruba celebrating her graduation from high school.
Video via NBC13 Miami
Holloway came to Aruba for a five-day excursion with 124 seniors and 40 chaperons from Mountain Brook High School, near Birmingham, Ala. She was last seen around 2 a.m. Monday, Attorney General Caren Janssen said Thursday.
Four days later, the Alabama teenager is still missing, despite an extensive search of the Dutch Caribbean island.
“Honestly, at the beginning, we were hopeful the girl would come back,” said police Superintendent Jan van der Straaten. “Today, we are more and more thinking about the possibility of a crime.”
On the island remarkable for its absence of violent crime, hundreds of residents and tourists posted fliers to help the hunt. FBI agents helped the Dutch military and Aruba police scour outlying scrubland with helicopters and all-terrain vehicles but found no trace of the 18-year-old.
Aruba radio and television stations broadcast a reward offer from Holloway’s family, though they did not specify an amount. The family promised to reward anyone who brings her safely to a police station or hospital.
As posted yesterday crime does occur on these islands and in many cases they go unreported. The last thing the Island Tourism Bureau wants is a blemish like this. One can see through out the reporting of the story and comments from Aruban officials the want and need to stress its a safe island. The story should be about Natalee Holloway and how to find Natalee Holloway. Not about how safe Aruba is or that there is little to know crime. ARUBA, this is not about you. Its about finding Natalee Holloway.
The island of 72,000 off the coast of Venezuela has a reputation of being all but free of crime for tourists.
There was one murder and six rapes last year and two murders and three rapes this year. But all the rapes were committed by local men against local women. The two murders involved drug addicts who died in knife fights.
“Aruba is a happy island and a safe island,” said Janssen, the attorney general. “We’re looking everywhere.”
The Aruban police,tourists and several family members that traveled to Aruba are searching the Arashi area in the northwestern tip of Aruba.
“We don’t have any indication as to if she is alive,” Sambo said. “The whole population is aware that she is missing. The police are doing everything to find her.”
Police, using helicopters and all-terrain vehicles and patrol cars, were combing the Arashi area in the northwestern tip of Aruba, a rugged terrain of sand dunes, craters and beaches. The area is near the Holiday Inn.
More than 100 people, mostly American tourists, offered to help during a gathering Thursday morning at the Holiday Inn, organized by International Friends of Aruba, a group of wives of Americans working on the island. The volunteers were distributing fliers with the teenager’s photo in various parts of the island.
Police questioned and released three Aruban men who said they dropped Holloway off early Monday at the Holliday Inn, where she had been staying about 3 miles from the capital of Oranjestad, said police assistant inspector Jules Sambo. The three were not suspects, he said.
Not suspects, huh? Let’s just hope this has a happy ending and they find Natalee Holloway safe.
Police scoured the Aruban sdhoreline by boat and helicopter Thursday for any sign of a missing Mountain Brook woman, but to no avail.
The family of Natalee Ann Holloway, 18, offered a $10,000 reward for her return.
Holloway disappeared on a trip to the Caribbean island with about 140 other recent graduates of Mountain Brook High School and seven adult chaperones. Family and friends say she left her passport, cell phone and luggage at the hotel where the group was staying.
About 100 of Holloway’s family, friends, Aruba residents and other tourists formed a search party. Shop windows were lined with fliers bearing Holloway’s picture, and a group of expatriate women, the International Friends of Aruba, staked out the roughest neighborhood in Oranjestad, the capital, in the hope of spotting her.
“Everybody’s just stopped what they are doing and helping out,” said Julia Renfro, a member of the group and editor of the local English-language newspaper, Aruba Today. “There are all kinds of people on the streets, on the corners, looking in windows. Everyone’s here, we’re knocking on doors.”
Dutch marines stationed in the Caribbean island of Aruba begin a search for Natalee Holloway, 18, an Alabama high school graduate who disappeared while on a five-day graduation trip in Oranjestad, Aruba, Thursday, June 2, 2005. The Holloway family offered a reward for her safe return as more than a hundred tourists and locals volunteered to post fliers and help in the search.
“We can’t just sit here and do nothing,” said Robin Holloway, the girl’s stepmother. “We don’t know if she is still in Aruba … or she’s been kidnapped. We just don’t know anything.”
In Alabama, more than 150 people participated Tuesday in a prayer service for Holloway at Mountain Brook Community Church.
Update: NBC 13, Miami, Mom Pleads For More U.S. Help To Find Missing Teen In Aruba.