ORANJESTAD, Aruba, Tuesday May 26, 2015 — Yet another tip about the location of the body of missing American teen Natalee Holloway has drawn a blank.
Authorities in Aruba have dismissed the account of a man who claimed to have been an eyewitness to Holloway’s demise on May 30, 2005.
The man, identified as Jurrien De Jong, told the syndicated television programme ‘Inside Edition‘ that he saw the 18-year-old Alabama student being chased into a building by longtime suspect Joran van der Sloot, who emerged a short while later carrying Holloway in his arms.
Van der Sloot went on to slam the young woman into the ground and dig an opening in a crawl space, according to De Jong. The building was under construction, De Jong told reporters, and is now the Spyglass Tower of the Marriott Hotel in Aruba.
— People magazine (@people) May 20, 2015
His claims led chief prosecutor Eric Olthof to ask Aruba police to contact Marriott’s management office in Orlando, Florida, to determine when the hotel’s Spyglass Tower and its staircase was built.
Marriott officials said neither the tower nor its staircase had been built when Holloway disappeared, prosecutors said.
“This means that Natalee Holloway could never have been hidden and/or buried there,” officials said in a statement. “This leads to the conclusion that the claims made by Mr De Jong . . . cannot be correct, and that his testimony . . . does not add to the solving of this case.”
De Jong’s claims prompted the missing teen’s father, Dave Holloway, to return to Aruba earlier this month with a private investigator and a cadaver dog. His search for justice for his daughter nevertheless failed to gain any ground.
— AL.com (@aldotcom) May 25, 2015
The hunt for the truth about Holloway’s disappearance has taken several cruel twists in the past, with several supposed leads going nowhere, including conflicting statements from van der Sloot, who was arrested twice but never charged.
Holloway was on a high school graduation trip when she vanished. The 18-year-old from Alabama was reportedly last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot, a Dutchman raised in Aruba, who was just 17 years-old at the time of her disappearance.
Natalee Holloway 10 years later: New facts, and doubts, about the case’s future: “Aruba is a safe place. Nobody… http://t.co/Yn8l5QVRky
— Huntsville AL Now (@huntsvillealnow) May 24, 2015
In 2012, van der Sloot was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the 2010 murder of business student Stephany Flores in Peru. Flores was killed in a Lima hotel room five years to the day after Holloway disappeared in Aruba.