Aruba prosecutor: New evidence in Natalee Holloway case is fake; American T.V. host was tricked
United States lawyer and television presenter Greta van Susteren, who announced last year that she had new evidence in the case Natalee Holloway, has been scammed. The Aruba Prosecutor's Office wrote in a statement that "persons possibly from South America" have "deceived her with false information in exchange for payment." The statement was sent as a confirmation of reporting by Dutch broadcaster NOS on Saturday, which first published the update regarding the Holloway’s disappearance from 2005.
Aruba police and prosecutors, together with the FBI, investigated the material obtained by Van Susteren. A forensic examination revealed that DNA on shoes and clothing allegedly belonging to Holloway did not match either Holloway's DNA or that of the main suspect, Joran van der Sloot. The videos and photos sent to Van Susteren, where footage showed people who were allegedly involved in the disappearance and skeletal remains, turned out to be from public Facebook pages and a newspaper article about a landfill in Costa Rica.
In addition, all of the people who contacted Van Susteren knew each other, according to the prosecutor's office, which notified her of the investigation's findings. Holloway's family was also informed, they said.
Van Susteren reacted with disappointment to the news, accusing Dutch and Aruban authorities of incompetence. She also claimed she had more evidence that investigators opted not to examine. “How do you re open an investigation and not interview the key witness who wants to talk to you? That is what Aruba just did,” Van Susteren said on Twitter. She also claimed authorities were unwilling to speak with Holloway’s mother, Beth, about the development. “You just can’t make this stuff up.”
American Natalee Holloway, 18, disappeared without a trace in May 2005 while on vacation with friends in Aruba. The case mainly became known in the Netherlands due to the possible involvement of the Dutch man, Joran van der Sloot, who was the prime suspect in the disappearance. He was last seen with her before she disappeared. In an interview with Van Susteren for Fox News in 2008, Van der Sloot claimed he had sold Holloway to a human trafficker. But he later said he made up the story.
His involvement has long been suspected, but had never been proven. Van de Sloot is currently serving a 28-year sentence in Peru for the murder of Peruvian student Stephany Flores.
Van Susteren has been closely involved with the case for decades and has been trying to solve it ever since. "I promised the mother in 2005 that I would stay on it until she knew what happened, and when I promised, I thought it would take three days, not 17 years. But I kept my promise," Van Susteren tweeted. In 2021, Van Susteren worked with Natalee Holloway's mother to find new information in the young woman's case.
She also often used social media to draw attention to problems in collecting information and documents, or to share her frustration with investigators involved in the case. For example, when police files are not shared with the family.
Van Susteren suggested to her fans that they stop traveling to Aruba, recommending warm-weather American destinations instead. Van Susteren also threatened to change her last name from her Dutch maiden name to her husband’s last name because of her disappointment about the case.
Do me a favor - tweet @EvelynPMAruba and ask her why, since the Natalee Holloway investigation is closed, why they won’t give Beth Holloway a copy of the police file? What are they hiding? Also ask her about the evidence I have that they said they don’t want to see…— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) February 5, 2023
Reporting by ANP and NL Times