Skip to comments.Mountain Brook girl disappears during senior trip to Aruba
Posted on 06/02/2005 8:02:49 AM PDT by SamFromLivingston
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) FBI and Aruban officials said Wednesday that they had flew clues to the whereabouts of a Mountain Brook High School graduate who disappeared during a senior trip to the island.
FBI officials in the Caribbean were coordinating with Aruban police and Dutch authorities, who oversee Aruba, to search for Natalee Holloway, 18, The Birmingham News reported.
Holloway joined about 125 graduating seniors and adults on the five-day trip, which is an annual tradition not sponsored by the school. Other students said she never showed up for the group's return flight Monday.
"We went to check in for our airplane, and she wasn't there, and she's been missing since then," said Jay Weinacker, a member of Holloway's graduating class.
Holloway's parents, David Holloway, of Meridian, Miss., and Beth Holloway Twitty of Mountain Brook, and several family members traveled to Aruba to aid the search, said Robin Holloway, the girl's stepmother.
"It is torture," Robin Holloway said. "It is just agony."
Aruban police said Wednesday that they had questioned and released three local men who said they dropped the teenager off at her hotel late Sunday night. Officials said the girl's parents were unable to spot her on a hotel surveillance tape.
Officials said there were few leads on Natalee's whereabouts.
After hearing of her disappearance, Robin Holloway said her husband felt compelled to search for his daughter.
"We can't just sit here and do nothing," she said. "We don't know if she is still in Aruba ... or she's been kidnapped. We just don't know anything."
Officials at Mountain Brook Community Church said more than 150 people participated Tuesday in a prayer service for Holloway.
"Word just kind of got out, and parents and students just really wanted to get together and have a little prayer service for the whole situation," said Troy Gambrell, an associate in the youth ministry.
Time to start boycotting ARUBA until they solve this sad and scarry case.
Why is a class trip going outside of our borders in our current state of WOT?
HS seniors go to Mexico to drink and party. It's insane that parents pay for that madness.
Ridiculous....why would anyone, even divorced parents, let their 18 year old go out of the country without them?? Stupid.
Heck, I wouldn't even let my daughter go to Flordia for Spring Break. Of course, she's only four, but that's beside the point!
It's a very affluent area -- second in household income only to Beverly Hills.
Unfortunately, the amount of money does not always correlate to common sense. See, e.g., George Soros.
Saw the mom interviewed last night -- typical MB housewife. Tennis in morning, dinner at Highland's Bar & Grill later.
scary stuff happens on these trips. I feel for the family. If this was my daughter....
::shakes head in amazement::
Were you on the cruise with them? Have you ever been on a cruise yourself?
Shhh!! You will ruin it! How else can little Brittany and Heather end up on Girls Gone Wild videos?
'Aruban police said Wednesday that they had questioned and released three local men who said they dropped the teenager off at her hotel late Sunday night. Officials said the girl's parents were unable to spot her on a hotel surveillance tape.'
I think we may have the answers already.
"Why is a class trip going outside of our borders in our current state of WOT?"
Great point. The danger is greater than the benefits. Kids have no clue what to look for. They could have went to safer climes.
Exactly. I hope other parents learn a lesson from this. Teenagers have no business leaving the country, I don't care if it is next door, there is no place like America. However, I do pray for this child and her parents...things do not look good.
Because she's an adult?
Girls die because of porn.
Yes I've been on a cruise, no I was not with them. They have attended the same Christian School since first grade, were chaperoned by parents I'd become quite close to over the years, and they are incredibly well trained. ;-)
I'd ask the other students what she was doing with the locals. Someone from the group must have been with her,.
Great chaperonage. What were the parents thinking?
My children went to foreign countries on carefully planned mission trips many times with the church group.
It wasn't ridiculous or stupid.
Where the H#LL were the chaperones, that she got off on her own with NO ONE (apparently) knowing where she went, or with whom??
1 HS girl +
3 men +
She never came home =
How boneheaded are her parents, the chaperones and the cops involved?
Well that's the Most Stupid Post of The Day.
Boycott a country because a teenager has been running around with a bunch of boys that she doesn't know and hasn't gone home?
This 18 year-old girl is out partying with three local men from the island? Sounds like she got herself in a situation that she couldn't handle.
It's gonna take a lot of bribes before the Aruban police do much of anything, and I'm sure everyone can look at this "three men who claimed to have dropped her off" business and know they probably assaulted and and then threw her body into the ocean.
Sorry, I disagree. Living in fear is the same as being dead.
There are many reasons to travel and many ways to plan the trips. Many are good reasons and many are good plans. Some are not.
Clearly, they weren't.
Never leave people to their own devices! She should have been chaperoned at all times. And even if she wasn't being chaperoned at all times, she's 18 years old, she knows better than to wonder off without telling someone, especially in a foreign land. I pray for her safe return.
It also sounds like they raped and murdered her.
That is alot different than going for the party, night life, etc.....
I am glad to hear that your children did go on mission trips....those kinds of trips can change peoples lives and really instill a sense of pride in children.
True...the northen coast is a desolate, undeveloped area..long ago..we got snookered into taking the "shark-feeding " tour..
Alot different than going for the party, night life, etc....
Please people, we are talking about children, still in high school, going to a country where the laws are rarely enforced, especially for foreigners. Children have no business going off on trips like that.
Missionary work is different. War is different.
Are you a parent?
Right.... exactly my sentiments. What were these parents thinking?
Have you ever been to Aruba? We own a timeshare there, have spent a lot of time in the "interior" and find it hard to compare it to Mogadishu.
Matter of fact, street crime is virtually non-existent in Aruba for a variety of reasons, mostly economic and a high educational standard thanks to the Dutch government.
There is a max security prison on the far side of the island where most of the inmates are captured drug-smugglers from Columbia and Venezuela.
Ordinary Aruban people are some of the most pleasant and friendly people you'll ever meet, and I don't mean just at the beaches.
My husband and I had been considering taking a trip to Aruba. If the law enforecement/security situation is as bad as it sounds on this thread, I guess we'll go somewhere else.
Now it's possible she didn't voluntarily get in the car. Perhaps she was being abducted.
But what is a high school girl doing in a nightclub in Aruba in the first place?
In my area we had a similar incident -- a local high school cheerleader was on a class trip to Hawaii to participate in a cheerleading tournament.
She went partying, got drunk, and was last seen going off with two men.
She then plunged to her death from a hotel balcony. The two men were found sleeping off their hangovers in the room from which she fell.
some because of lax parenting.
And why was she off alone and not with a chaperone who knew and controlled their whereabouts? At least, why wasn't she with other young people of her group?
I've been to many foreign lands by myself. When I was in High School my French class went to France. I was 17 at the time. I turned 18 while I was there. We had chaperones and we stayed in a group. However, traveling abroad is not the issue here. The issue is whether or not she ran away on her own, or by force.
I read about that story. These stories are awful. The parents will live with their decisions forever. But, you can't totally "protect' kids from doing stupid things.
That's what I was responding to.
And I agree, their lives were changed for the better, no doubt in my mind. But it wasn't pride that they received. It instilled a sense of purpose and service in them. And it showed them first hand how most of the world lives. They appreciate their own situation in a profoundly different way when they return. They also have an understanding of what God expects of them in regards to other people.
And yes, my wife and I were worried, but some trips are worth the risk.