Natalee Holloway

by Katie Black

Natalee Holloway is a name that has been on many Americans ’minds for the past eighteen years. The Alabama teen went missing back in 2005, while on her graduation trip with her fellow Alabama classmates in Aruba. The special vacation was celebratory for students, kicking off their last summer of freedom before college pulled them in different directions.

One cannot recognize the Natalee Holloway story, without thinking of her mother, Beth Holloway. Natalie’s mother was a fixture on almost every news station within days of her daughter’s disappearance. The Holloways along with several other parents from the Birmingham area had flown to the Caribbean Island of Aruba, shortly after discovering Natalee did not show up with the rest of her classmates at the airport on May 30th, 2005. Her luggage and belongings were still in her Holiday Inn hotel room.

The last sighting of Natalee Holloway was the night before she and her classmates were to return home to the States. She was seen in a car with locals Joran van der Sloot and brothers, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, leaving the popular nightclub Carlos’n Charlie’s. All three men were arrested on and off throughout the years, but never officially charged with anything concerning Holloway.

Five years to the day of Natalee’s disappearance, Stephany Flores, 21 was found beaten to death in a hotel room belonging to Joran van der Sloot, in Lima, Peru. A few days later on June 3rd, he was arrested in Chile. Unlike the Holloway case, van der Sloot maintained his innocence until finally admitting his guilt for causing Flores’s murder.

In January 2012, Joran van der Sloot plead guilty to the murder and robbery of Flores and quickly sentenced to 28 years behind bars, along with the restitution owed to the victim’s family. He told authorities he’d become irate when he found her using his laptop and then making the connection between Holloway and himself.

Ironically, also during the timeframe of 2012, an Alabama Judge declared Natalee Holloway dead as of January 12th, 2012, per request filed by Dave Holloway, Natalee’s father.

Last week, Joran van der Sloot, 35, was transported by the FBI from his Peruvian jail cell to an Alabama courtroom. According to CBS News, in 2010, a federal grand jury indicted him, accusing him of extorting $250,000 from Beth Holloway in exchange for information that would help assist the family, their lawyer, and authorities with the location of Natalee’s remains. The information was false. Van der Sloot refused a translator before pleading “not guilty” to one count of extortion and one count of wire fraud.

On thoughts of why this outcome is crucial for the Holloway family, Mark White the family attorney told CBS, “It can be accountability and perhaps maybe, opportunity for the truth to finally come out.”

Van der Sloot’s story of the night in 2005 he was with Natalee Holloway has changed too many times to count. Making it impossible, to which details are true and which aren’t, if any at all.

In 2005, Beth Holloway told news cameras, “I’m not leaving Aruba without her.” Unfortunately, Father Time has forced her to leave the island without her daughter. The public hopes this mother will finally have answers after years of having none.

Once the proceedings in America are complete, van der Sloot will return to Peruvian authorities.

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