John Q. Kelly on Rita Cosby (1/25/06): “These are the three boys that took her in the car and were the last ones with her and admitted to it”
Joining us now tonight to sort through some of this exclusive information is Jossy Mansur with Aruba‘s “Diario” newspaper, and also here with us is Holloway family attorney John Q. Kelly.
Jossy, let me start with you. What do you make of this line of questions? What do you think investigators going for?
JOSSY MANSUR, MANAGING EDITOR, “DIARIO”: I think that they selected the 20 candidates, more or less 20 candidates, when they went over all the questioning that the FBI had done of them. And these 20 gave some kind of declarations that they found interesting and they want to follow up on.
COSBY: Now, you understand there‘s something connecting the tip that we talked about on the show last week, Jossy, about the sand dunes, the lighthouse, tying to this. Walk us through again what that original tip was that led investigators to go back to the sand dunes, back to the lighthouse.
MANSUR: Well, in the last month, the police were very busy talking to many friends of Joran‘s that they found of interest. And one of them apparently gave them some very, very reliable information that they‘ve been acting on. That‘s why they‘ve been searching over at the dunes behind the lighthouse and also on the ocean, searching for a fish net.
COSBY: And how did this tipster get that information? Do we get a sense that he came forward or they went to him?
MANSUR: No, they went to him. They went to all of these friends of Joran‘s and talked to them, and they found quite a few answers that interested them. One of these witnesses specifically gave them information that they are acting on now.
COSBY: And that is—what your understanding is that‘s what‘s leading them also to question these girls—these boys and girls who were there at Carlos and Charlie‘s that night, correct?
MANSUR: Yes, because they found—when they read all these declarations that they gave to the FBI, they singled out these 20 or so candidates that (INAUDIBLE) thinks are of interest and are related to what this witness said.
COSBY: The other thing, too, Jossy, are they also looking at other nights, not just the night she went missing, but you told me right before the show that they‘re looking at, what, the Excelsior Hotel and maybe Holiday Inn some other nights?
MANSUR: Yes, they were looking at, for example, that—it‘s been known out there that the night before Natalee disappeared, she was seen, apparently, at the Excelsior casino and the Holiday Inn and that Joran was also present. And they‘re also very interested in finding out what the speculation is, what is fact in the getting into the car of Natalee that night, if she was forced or she went of her own volition.
COSBY: Jossy, stick with us. I want to bring in John. And John, let me put up again on the screen—these are the questions that we‘ve been told that are going to be focused on with these kids. Again, it‘s Alabama students and their actions on May 30. The students have been asked about new Aruban names that they may not have heard before. They‘ve been asked to describe people who may have been at Carlos and Charlie‘s the night that Natalee vanished. And they‘ve also been shown photos of people at the bar that night. What do you make of this line of questioning?
JOHN Q. KELLY, NATALEE‘S FAMILY‘S ATTORNEY: It appears they‘re trying to eliminate other potential suspects, other than the three main suspects all along, Joran and the Kalpoe brothers. If they‘re giving descriptions, showing photographs or running names by these girls, I think it‘s to try to determine whether there was possibly anybody else that might have potentially been involved in Natalee‘s disappearance.
COSBY: Does it also look like maybe just eyewitnesses, or do you think it may be to the degree, John, that they‘re looking at other potential suspects?
KELLY: Well, I know they‘ve always indicated that they had to run every lead down and that, you know, we shouldn‘t always just be focused on the three young men, which I don‘t agree with. I mean, these are the three boys that took her in the car and were the last ones with her and admitted to it, and the conduct they engaged in.
But you know, I—Rita, I want to be very careful here. I‘m supportive of the Aruban government and their investigation. I‘m glad they‘re acting on certain things now. But you know, quite frankly, as two of months ago, they had already planned to search the sand dunes with the cadaver dogs. And as of a couple months ago or even longer, they were already going to interview the Mountain Brook girls.
And I just don‘t want raised expectations here. I don‘t necessarily like hearing that it‘s all new, fresh information that‘s leading to the lighthouse search or the questioning of the Mountain Brook people. These were planned long ago. And you know, I‘m a little bit skeptical. And we‘ve been on roller-coasters before, and I don‘t want raised expectations for the family, at this point.
COSBY: Oh, you bet. And who knows? And of course, we all pray that this would be resolved, but maybe we are just getting our hopes up. What about—what about also the search at the sand dunes? Because I understand, John, in the last few days, they have been—there has been some activity there, right? What are you hearing?
KELLY: Well, they went out there. This has been planned for a while. They‘re using metal probes to push into the sand and turn the sand over. And once that‘s completed, they want to bring the cadaver dogs in right afterwards, while the sand has been freshly turned over. That way, even if they don‘t locate any objects or a body, the scent would be fresh on the surface there and the dogs might be able to pick it up.
COSBY: And do we have any idea when the dogs are going to arrive, John?
KELLY: I‘m expecting this within the next week. I even heard—I wasn‘t able to confirm this—that a couple days ago, they were even there with the police helicopter hovering right above the sand, trying to turn it over and churn it a little bit to sort of freshen up and release any potential scents or something that the dogs might be able to pick up.
COSBY: And Jossy, really quickly, I understand that Karin Janssen, the prosecutor in this case, has made sort of a pledge that she‘s going to releasing something by the end of the month? It‘s only a few days left.
MANSUR: Yes. No, she did make that statement. (INAUDIBLE) and we are aware of that. And she said that she has a lot of important information to release before the end of the month.
COSBY: What do you both think she believes with the suspects? Real quick.
MANSUR: What do I believe?
COSBY: Yes, do you believe she feels that they—they were released too soon?
MANSUR: I‘m sure she‘s convinced because she was very disappointed when they released all three of the suspects because she presented a very strong case to the judge.
COSBY: We‘ll be watching. Thank you, Jossy and John. Thank you very much.