TV appeal generates tips in Holloway case
12 April 2006
AMSTERDAM — Police in the Netherlands received 50 calls from the public following a television appeal for information on Tuesday evening about the disappearance of US teen Natalee Holloway on Aruba last year.
‘Opsporing Verzocht’ was re-broadcast on Aruba, an autonomous Dutch island in the Caribbean, on Wednesday morning. The programme appeals for witnesses to unsolved crimes.
Tuesday’s programme focused on the Holloway case and showed a re-enactment of the hours prior to her disappearance. Presented in Dutch as normal, subtitles in Papiamento – the Creole language spoken by most people on Aruba – were added to ensure the widest possible audience.
Three young men, including Dutch teen Joran van der Sloot, were the main suspects for several months as Holloway was seen leaving a nightclub with them. They were finally released from custody due to lack of evidence. They deny harming her but remain under suspicion.
Curiously, a non-white actor was used in the programme to portray Van der Sloot who is white. The government of the Netherlands Antilles expressed concern Wednesday that the choice of actor distorted the facts of the case. Aruba was part of the Antilles until 1986.
A Dutch police spokesperson said it would become clear later on Wednesday how many tips the programme had generated in the Netherlands and Aruba. No details were released about the content or value of the calls received so far.
The programme revealed Aruban police are looking for a man who allegedly harassed a woman on a beach on the island nine days before Holloway went missing.
“We have no concrete proof that this incident has any relation to Holloway’s disappearance, but we cannot completely disregard this either,” Police Commissioner Adolf Richardson said.
Holloway, 18, disappeared on 30 May 2005 on the last day of a holiday with friends from Alabama to celebrate their graduation from school. Repeated searches have failed to locate any sign of her.
The public was asked by ‘Opsporing Verzocht’ for more information about three males who were carrying a shovel on the north side of the island on 30 May and a grey Honda Civic seen near a salt pond on the same night. One of the three suspects has a grey Honda Civic.
Police also want to hear from the caller who claimed on 31 December that he knew where she is buried.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news, Natalee Holloway