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.
Stranger things have happened.
Or maybe I'm just influenced by the Val Kilmer movie I saw recently....
Actually yes - 3 weeks with the army training up their forces for anti-drug operations. Needless to say, I saw the entire island (except for the aforementioned resorts). Open sewers, car jackings, drive bys, etc. There is a reason why the "resort shuttles" going to/from the airport drive fast with their door locked...
I guess it could be worse, it could be the island of Jamaica...holy cow... the interior of that place is a real war zone.
Rumor out of Birmingham implies the girl is still alive and mercenaries have been hired to get her. The father went to Sanford Univ. and his friends from college, who are still in Birmingham, believe he was at one time involved in some sort of Special Ops branch of the military. The father flew down immediately after learning of the girl's failure to return and friends of the family flew down on a Books-A-Million jet yesterday. My source in Birmingham is making a few calls and will call me back with additional details after lunch.
Cyborg, I usually respect your opinion, but not this time.
The original statement implicitly and carelessly equated "fear" with situational awareness and judgement.
I pray that is correct. Sounds like the family is doing the right things, don't wait on our government or their government to do anything.....take care of business yourself.
Not likely in the Caribbean but not unheard of in muslim countries and some far east places like Japan. At least two of the girls my sister went to school with stayed behind in Japan to do stripping. Not slavery but probably not what their parents had in mind either.
No it didn't.
I hope that wasn't his intent.
I personally know a woman who also survived a trip when she was 18, and the things she did and experienced would curl your hair; no, neither her family nor most people were ever aware of what actually happened, to this day. They also honesty would swear, "no problems".
Interesting and that agrees very closely with what a friend of mine, who is retired from Army Intelligence and spent a lot of time in Latin America, told me.
We were discussing a pretty girl who worked as a secretary for the Army who made a lot of trips to El Salvadore for some reason. He told me an American girl who has light colored hair would be considered extremely valuable for intelligence work because she would be so desireable.
BTW, this guy was second generation Italian and had black hair.
You compared not allowing your kid to leave the country to "living in fear." That is what was incorrect and what I responded to. There was clearly no trusted adult, or at least far too few, if she was getting into or out of vehicles with 3 men unknown to other people on the trip.
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.
27 posted on 06/02/2005 10:19:48 AM CDT by Protagoras
(Ive had all I can stands and I cant stands no more.....Popeye)
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When I was in 8th grade our French class went to Quebec for a week. You wouldn't beleive the things we did Montreal after the teachers went to sleep. In 8th grade! My kids are never going on any of these trips without me.
My sister went with her class and some girls did try stuff. One girl did get drunk and go off with a guy and they sent her home on a plane early :(
For all we know she was drinking tonic water all evening. To assume that she was drunk seems to be attempt to blame her for the actions of others if she indeed has fallen into dire circumstances.
From what I read, all that the article said is that her location is unknown. All else is surmise.
Because it is. I stand by that. The comment didn't say "under certain circumstances" or "with proper planning". It said what it said.
That is what was incorrect and what I responded to.
It was correct.
I certainly hope you're not suggesting that you're entitled to control my inferences from, perhaps, carelessly written thoughts.
Bump for later.
Doesn't matter, Ann Archy knows better than you do.
Wow, you got that from the story?
I'm suggesting you respond to what I wrote, not what you dreamed it meant.
It wasn't careless, but perhaps the reading of it was.
I reposted the passage for your edification.
That must have been intense. From what I have learned, Aruba doesn't have an indigenous drug problem per se; the island is a waystop for major traffic coming up from South America, in other words a laundromat for further shipments into the USA.
I always see lots of patrol boats, especially near the harbor areas...they are looking for the drug smugglers.
I just recalled that my friend in B'ham mentioned that authorities are continuing to watch these three.
Nor was it the CONtent.
On the other hand, the casinos there are run by the Chicago mob.
"There are blonde women in Aruba."
I dunno, I think there's a difference between being blonde through the magical powers of chlorine and being a young pretty blue-eyed blonde with a Southern, Alabama accent.
I'm not normally attracted to blondes and that sounds enticing.
She could be still partying in Aruba, so drunk she can't move, dead, or on her way to the Middle East, Brunei, or someplace else where she will be "appreciated."
I have never seen a "girls gone wild" anything, Cyborg. I travel alot and maybe there are blondes in Aruba (I haven't been there), but I can tell you that in many, many cultures (countries), blondes are rare. In fact, in the world population they are extremely rare (don't count bottle blondes) so they DO stick out. Think about it. Biggest populations are India and China (NO BLONDES). They are targets. All young, attractive females potentially are targets for people - of course some serious sociopaths have certain traits they seek (such as brunette, certain height, eye color etc.) but when you look at abductions in general and factor in the % of blondes that exist in a given population, the # seems high to me.
I totally agree with you that there is a good chance this girl was out drinking and that may be the real key to this story, but even so, women are vulnerable when alone, even sober, and especially if it's 3 guys vs. 1 girl.
When I was in my early 20's I did some very foolish things. I cringe when I think back. Alcohol wasn't even a factor for ME but it was for others in some of the situations. One case had myself and 3 girlfriends meet some guys at a club and they had a nice sailboat docked clubside; we hopped on (cool, right?) They turned out to be decent guys but later on when we were older, we all thought we were stupid. The guys could've thrown us overboard into Lake Erie and worse. Another case was I stopped by the house of a guy I liked (dated a couple of times) without advance notice. His roommate let me in and said my "boyfriend" would be home soon (ran to the store or something, don't exactly recall). Meanwhile, the roommate I soon see is a little drunk and so are a couple of his buddies that are already there; also, the doorbell rings and in walk 2 more guys. As I'm sitting there with like 5 guys (4 I don't even know) and 3 somewhat drunk, I start realizing I am in a very, very tenuous situation. Nothing happened; my guy showed up and the goofballs all went out but SOMETHING COULD HAVE HAPPENED AND BY THE GRACE OF GOD, NOBODY HURT ME, BUT AGAIN, IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED. In addition to giving good advice to our daughters (and sons too), we need to pray for their safety at ALL times.
Bless you Cyborg.
I hope this is true because if anyone has a chance, they do, but it doesn't appear very optimistic at this point. I feel sick for this family, just sick.
point taken... I've done some dumb things too when I was in college. I look back now and say 'wow obvious someone was looking out for me'!
One of us is.
Hint, it's the one who didn't try to start a flamewar with insults.
Have a nice day as well.
AMEN, Cyborg. AMEN.
Do you think three men would admit to dropping her off at her hotel if they had no connection to her that night (remember the hotel security camera does not show them dropping her off) ?
Do you think she was not raped (and/or tortured) ?
Do you think she is still alive ?
Lots of kids get drunk and do dumb stuff and live. I wonder why some people live and some people die. If I figured that out, I think someone will hand me a Nobel prize.
They should. They gave one to Jimmy Carter and he hasn't figured anything out.
LOL good point ;-)
My daughter is about to spend a month in Europe on a school sponsored trip. It is a real challenge for me to communicate the importance of being extremely careful in avoiding problems. Watch out for this and that... We live in such an insular naive world of TV reality ! It is absolutely essential to get American youth out into the world.
Didn't know that...all I know is I have yet to win any money there, so I stay out of the casinos.
How do you know this?
A newspaper from area reports that she was near Carlos & Charlie's after an evening out and got into the car with three other persons. No mention of drinking.
You and I have disagreed in this forum on the expansion of liberty issues, but I cannot agree with you more on the subject stated above.
The greatest gift a parent can give to their children is individualism and self-sufficiency.
Life is full of situations were the risk of injury or death is imminent.
Teach your children to discern and analyze "risk" as correctly as possible.
My deepest and heartfelt empathy for the parents of this missing girl.
Yes. Many American youth are sheltered. My sister loved Japan as it was really safe. The only people you ever worried about were foreigners taking advantage of the lax atmosphere. Also, she went to Vietnam and Thailand and you didn't worry about the locals. You worried about the Europerverts on the beach. The one piece of advice I consistently follow is not to drink from strangers. Don't drink from an unattended open container,etc.etc.
Exactly. It's the big question of the universe. Why is Charles Manson still alive (no cancer, no MS, etc. no hideous pustules on his face) Why do children die EVER? It rains on the just and the unjust. It is an imperfect world and stuff happens. I hate it too.
Long story. But do a Google search on "Mike Posner" and Aruba. Then go to this site: http://www.ipsn.org/OutfitChart.htm and see where Michael Posner falls on the table of organization as part of the Northside crew. He did time on a tax beef back in the 1980s, at which time he was identified in the Sun-Times as the "Vice Kingpin of the Northwest Suburbs", although he also had interests downtown. He did his time and kept his mouth shut, and the mob rewarded him by putting him in charge of their Aruba operations.
Bwahahahahaha. . . .stop it. . .you are killing me. . .
I didn't say they have no connection to her or what may have happened to her. I don't know what happened to her and I don't think you know, either. She may have been raped/murdered/torutured/sold into slavery/run off on her own/kidnapped/whatever. You didn't say you fear she was raped and murdered, you said she was raped and murdered. If you know that to be the case, I suggest you contact authorities because you obviously have more information than they do.
Neither did I write that I know she was raped and murdered.
I wrote what I think is likely to have happened. I pray she will be found safely. I doubt this will be so.
I try to avoid redundant and trite language so I tend not to use phrases like IMHO, I think, etc. unless the reader might be confused. Obviously that happened in this case.
I'm not ready to throw the towel in yet. I lived in Aruba back in the 70's before the tourist boom. Contrary to the belief expressed in many of the posts here, Aruba does have a police force and many governement postions are staffed by Dutch nationals. And the Dutch Antillies is not by any means a third world country at least by Carribean/African/Central American standards. I realize that a lot can change in the 30 years since I lived there, but back then, the Island was relatively crime-free, which says a lot considering it housed one of the largest oil refineries in the Western Hemisphere, which produced a lot of drunken merchant sailors and oil workers.
True story: When I lived there, my 19 year old sister came to visit for a few days. On day five she "disappeared" for two days. Turns out she hooked up with a 20 year old guy from Chicago she met in one of the casinos. She was all smiles when she finally showed up for breakfast one morning and didn't think her disappearance was a big deal.