Dave Holloway on Live & Direct (1/23/06), “Paulus early on in the investigation, he was pointing the finger back towards the Mountain Brook kids”
Rita Cosby, Live & Direct: January 24, 2006 : (Dave Holloway & Steve Cohen)
LIVE & DIRECT right now is special adviser to the Aruban government, Steve Cohen. Also with us on the phone is Natalee Holloway’s father, Dave Holloway.
Steve, why are they doing this now?
STEVE COHEN, SPECIAL ADVISER TO ARUBAN GOVERNMENT: Well, I think it’s just a matter of a process of elimination. You know, we go through a lot of these scenarios. Finally, we get to the point where we say we need to talk to some of those who were with Natalee the day and then the night that she disappeared.
We have to go through a process through the FBI in Barbados to get access to these individuals. And by the way, the FBI will be questioning them and the Aruban authorities will be the observers in keeping with the covenants that we have with the United States government.
COSBY: What do you think they could provide, though, Steve? Is there a question of Natalee’s state of mind? Is there a question of something else, speaking to them, maybe they heard or saw? Where do you think it’s headed?
COHEN: Well, all of those things are important. Let me talk first about just the circumstances surrounding that evening. Anything that investigators can find out about what it was like that evening just generally is important and then specifically, what was Natalee thinking? Was she in a good mood or a bad mood? And then, of course, what was her physical state? All of these things will add into the puzzle of what these teens say versus what the Aruban authorities collected from other witnesses.
COSBY: Dave, what do you make of all of this? Do you think this is going to get any step closer to finding your daughter? Or is this sort of just grasping for straws?
DAVE HOLLOWAY, NATALEE HOLLOWAY’S FATHER: Well, I think it’s going to close some of the holes in the investigation. You know, when I met with Paulus early on in the investigation, he was pointing the finger back towards the Mountain Brook kids. And I think it’s just a way of just closing that gap and putting that to rest.
COSBY: Is there anything there that was significant to you whenÃ¢â‚¬”
I’m sure you’ve talked to Natalee’s friends. I’m sure that they’ve talked with you immediately after, you know, her disappearance. What did they say her state of mind was? Did they have any idea where she was headed and where she was going with these guys?
HOLLOWAY: Well, I think there was some early confusion on what some of the Mountain Brook kids reported and what they said. I did speak with one individual. And he said that they all came out of the establishment, and they were all talking, and everybody appeared to be OK. And then suddenly they saw Natalee look around as if she was looking for someone and walked back into the establishment and was back in there approximately 15 minutes. And then, when she came out, Deepak had her by the arm, leading her out of the bar.
COSBY: And that was the last thing that they saw?
HOLLOWAY: Well, that was one of the individuals’ witness statement was, was that Deepak walked her out. Some of the others indicated that she walked out with Joran. So I think that’s a matter of clearing that issue up.
COSBY: And, Steve, I want to continue. You may hear the car alarm in the background. And we’re, of course, outside in the thick of it here in Miami. But, Steve, in terms of these students, they’re probably all over the country, right? A lot of them went off to college. Are they coming back to Alabama? Are investigators going to them?
COHEN: My understanding is that some will be in Alabama. And then there will be a few that they will travel to meet with. I don’t think we’re talking about an extensive list. It’s a fairly limited list that the Aruban authorities and the FBI, as well as with help of the district attorney in Shelby County in Alabama put together.
COSBY: And, Steve, of course, everyoneÃ¢â‚¬”we’ve been talking about the sand dunes. Any movement in what’s happening in the sand dunes? Because there was so much focus that anotherÃ¢â‚¬”we were hearing somebody close to Joran, a friend, insinuated something to point them back towards that area. Have you heard if there’s any progress, any movement there?
COHEN: Yes. You know, the original information there is part of the re-look at the investigation, as well as new witnesses that have come forward. So the investigators felt that they should begin to dig in the area by the sand dunes.
That went on for a few days. It has now ceased for a moment, as they begin to sift through what they’ve got, figure out where they are. I also understand that they are awaiting something special dogs who also can go out and help them in the search.
COSBY: All right, both of you, thank you very much. We appreciate it.