Possible break in Natalee Holloway case?

I have never written before about the 2005 disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway, a high school senior who was on spring break in Aruba when she vanished after a night of hard partying. I decided not to put her on Charley, because (A) she disappeared overseas and (B) I am swamped with cases as is, and hers would take forever to write. It’s not as if her disappearance is lacking in publicity. If Natalee’s parents had written to me requesting a profile, I suppose I wouldn’t have had the heart to say no. But as it was, I made the judgement call and stuck to it.

Natalee Holloway’s name was, at least for a time, a household word in Aruba and in the US. I believe it was a combination of factors: (A) The fairly scandalous nature of the whole thing (B) Her youth and beauty and girl-next-door persona (C) The wealth and prominence of both the Holloway family and the family of suspect Joran van der Sloot and (D) Natalee’s mom really knew how to work the press. I only wish other disappearances could get as much attention as hers did — though I suppose if that were the case, the media would cover nothing else. This case is an example also of how publicity alone cannot solve a disappearance. Look at Natalee, or at Madeleine McCann. Both of them have been missing for years with no end in sight. They share some common denominators: both of them attractive girls who disappeared while on vacation, both with respectable well-to-do parents, etc.

Anyway, it’s possible that a scuba-diving tourist from Pennsylvania photographed Natalee’s skeleton — or, at least, A skeleton — during their vacation in Aruba. The article does show the picture in question but otherwise has a paucity of info. Namely, exactly where and when was the photo taken, and why did the tourist not come forward until now?

I suppose the picture could be of a skeleton. Or it could be of an oddly shaped rock or coral formation. Unless the tourist can provide a reasonably precise location, the picture isn’t going to be of much help — though I’d agree that Natalee’s body (assuming she is dead, which is likely) was disposed of at sea.

19 thoughts on “Possible break in Natalee Holloway case?

  1. JerryG March 20, 2010 / 3:20 pm

    “I only wish other disappearances could get as much attention as hers did — though I suppose if that were the case, the media would cover nothing else.”

    That would be bad?

    • Meaghan March 20, 2010 / 3:32 pm

      Well, there are many other topics worthy of extensive media attention such as elections, wars, natural disasters, etc.

      • JerryG March 20, 2010 / 5:26 pm

        Well I can understand natural disasters and wars…

  2. marycarney March 21, 2010 / 12:56 am

    The reason the vacationers didn’t ‘come forward’ before now is because this was actual film (as opposed to digital) photographs they took, and this roll didn’t get developed right away.
    They also said they gave the originals to the FBI as soon as they did notice the image on it (it did not appear to them to be anything other than interesting coral formations when they were taking the photos).
    I hope, for the sake of Natalee’s family, that this is her body and that they can at least have that amount of closure – if a family of a murder victim ever finds closure.

  3. Bill March 21, 2010 / 1:16 am

    But not sure about elections, huh?

    I always wish missing person cases would get more media coverage too.

  4. Belinda March 21, 2010 / 4:43 am

    Why shouldn’t her case get attention? And how fast does coral grow?

    • Meaghan March 22, 2010 / 7:33 am

      I didn’t say her case shouldn’t get attention. And I have no idea how fast coral grows.

  5. donna March 21, 2010 / 7:27 pm

    All missing Person Cases need more Media attention!! It is truly shocking at the lack thereof!

  6. Bill March 21, 2010 / 10:21 pm

    And then there are those who make noise about how unfair it is that pretty women with blonde hair and blue eyes get more attention than other missing persons. I say if that’s what it takes to get people’s attention, then how is that a bad thing? Every cause has its poster children.

  7. joshua March 22, 2010 / 2:18 am

    In response to your question as to why they waited until now, another article I read mentioned that they were looking at something else when they took the picture and didn’t notic the “body shaped” mass until they got the film developed.

  8. Justin March 22, 2010 / 4:15 am

    So there isn’t any time frame on when the tourists took the photograph? If it was a couple of months after she went missing, than maybe.

    I’m suprised that there are still bones that could be “body shaped” after five years in the ocean. I would think that her bones would be scattered and degraded to the point where they couldn’t be identified as such. Except perhaps the skull. I’ve never heard of the sea giving up their dead after that long if the bodies were not encased in some kind container.

    • Meaghan March 22, 2010 / 7:29 am

      I’ve heard of dead people washing up on shore years after the fact, but never entire bodies. Usually just a skull, or a foot or something.

      Australia lost a prime minister that way. He went swimming in the ocean in an area known for riptides and never came back. They never found him. They named a municipal swimming pool (!) after him in I think Sydney.

      • Meaghan March 22, 2010 / 9:59 am

        I read about him in Bill Bryson’s book on Australia. He said something like, “This is the only country that’s huge and wild and empty enough to LOSE their head of state.”

  9. datGurl! June 14, 2010 / 10:11 pm

    well that cretin Van Der Sloot has killed another young lady in Lima Peru. They got his ass and he is in the process of being extradited and charged for that murder.

    He has admitted involvement in Natalee’s case, and has also stated that he will NOW finally tell the world where Natalee is.

  10. maryjean June 14, 2010 / 10:51 pm

    The deal should be this – tell us where Natalee’s body is. IF we find it, WHEN we confirm it – we’ll put you in the nicest jail in Peru. That’s the best you can hope for, party boy.

  11. SILVER and GOLD. June 22, 2010 / 3:53 pm

    I HOPE IT WAS NOT NATALEE HOLLOWAY,s SKELETON FOUND IN THE WATER Because NATALEE Is Just TOO PRETTY TO BE DEAD!

    But This Just Goes To SHOW THAT
    ANYBODY CAN (D.I.E.)!!!!

    Even The PRETTY ONES!!
    And Even The (R.I.C.H.) ONES!!
    AND Even the Ones Who Just Graduated
    From (SCHOOL)!!

    >>>SILVER & GOLD.

  12. SILVER and GOLD. June 22, 2010 / 11:53 pm

    ****BIBLE CODE (# 1)****
    …………………………………………….
    HER NAME IS:
    (NATALEE ANN HOLLOWAY).

    SO THE INITIALS OF HER NAME
    ARE*****(N. A. H.)!!

    AND THE (34-th) BOOK OF THE
    BIBLE IS CALLED****(NAHUM).

    AND (NAHUM) BEGINS WITH THE
    3-LETTERS****(N.A.H.) TOO!!

    AND (N. A. H.) ARE THE EXACT
    INITIALS OF:
    (NATALEE ANN HOLLOWAY’s)
    NAME!!

    AND:
    (NAHUM) IS THE (34-th) BOOK
    OF THE BIBLE.

    AND:
    IF YOU COUNT THE NUMBER
    OF LETTERS IN THE NAME:

    1. NATALEE ANN HOLLOWAY.

    ****Plus****

    2. JORAN VAN DER SLOOT.

    **YOU WILL GET (34)-LETTERS
    TOO!!

    SO:
    HE MAY HAVE HAD SOMETHING
    TO DO WITH (NATALEE’s)
    DISAPPEARANCE!!

    >>>From: SILVER and GOLD.

  13. FRIENDLY September 25, 2011 / 6:55 pm

    NOW There Is A.N.O.T.H.E.R. Missing GIRL In ARUBA Besides “NATALIE HOLLOWAY”!! The 2nd Missing GIRL’s NAME I Think Is (ROBYN GARDNER) & She Went To ARUBA In “2011” With A G.U.Y. She Met ON-LINE!! *They Went S.W.I.M.M.I.N.G. or SNORKELING Together In “ARUBA” & After That She (ROBYN) Was NEVER SEEN AGAIN!! *So PLease PRAY FOR “(ROBYN G.)”—*Signed: FriendLy.

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