Ground Penetrating Radar Systems, a fledgling Sylvania firm, ended yesterday without clues to Natalee Holloway’s whereabouts. They had sent a representative from their Tampa office to conduct a search of a beach area on Aruba equal to about two football fields.
Police in Aruba received a tip that Ms. Holloway’s body was buried in that area on the island and needed his company’s assistance, confirmed Matt Aston, the 28-year-old owner. He said the search was being conducted last night primarily because wind conditions were expected to be light and the specialized radar equipment his firm uses operates better in those circumstances.
The search for a possible human grave is a departure from the company’s normal, more mundane jobs. While Mr. Aston said the firm has found some unmarked graves in the past, most of his firm’s work involves using radar signals sent into the ground to locate utility lines and pipelines on construction sites.
Mr. Aston’s company has searched for unmarked graves for historical purposes, but most jobs involve finding underground pipes and other buried hardware so construction companies know where they can drill or dig safely.
Ground Penetrating Radar Systems of Sylvania Township searched beach areas and caves but found nothing. Police have been acting on a tip from a “credible” witness that Natalee Holloway had been buried in the dunes. Of course this tip came to the ALE in January and the search did not begin until over two months later.
This makes many either question the credibility of the tip and the lack of urgency by the Aruban police in searching this area. However, the search by the GPR team ended without any results.
Ground Penetrating Radar Systems of Sylvania Township donated an employee and its ground radar equipment to search the area after they were contacted by Don Wood, head of Child Watch in Orlando, through an Internet search.
“They got down there and searched beach areas and caves,” Mr. Wood said.
Unfortunately, he said, nothing was found. The company has volunteered its services for future searches, if needed, Mr. Wood said.