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.
You're correct about the north coast. Still, I've driven all around Aruba and I think the earlier description of it as a "Mogadishu war zone" is a little extreme.
Like virtually all Caribbean Islands, there are beautiful resorts on the beaches and a lot of poverty in the interiors.
The government knows where their bread is buttered. They come down really hard on any locals who present problems to tourists.
Plus, the people are just naturally extremely friendly and warm-natured.
I agree. I've been to Aruba and it's beautiful. The people there are very nice. It's just very sad that this girl is missing. I pray for her safe returm.
Good point. . what was she doing going off with no friends into the dark with some locals. . .no judgment, bad judgment. . .whatever.
They used her and took her for an over the horizon boat ride.........she's toast IMO.
Because at 18 years old she is an adult. Because at 18 years old she ought to be able to take care of herself, and if she can't, then its because mommy and daddy haven't done their jobs. If parents stopped trying to control every aspect of their children's lives, then maybe 18 year old adults wouldn't need mommy and daddy watching over them.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Aruba. The resort beaches are wonderful, the people were nice, the weather is not to be believed it's so perfect ALL the time. (Just no need to tour the north side of the island unless you like dust and volcanic caves.)
I agree that's the main question.
However, I'm also interested in the parents' reasoning. The article said this is an annual trip made by students and adults in their community. It seems very improbable that it's a one-time, unexpected fluke for this girl to have been in a nightclub unchaperoned. That is, I expect it's understood by the students and adults involved that the students are pretty much going to run around on their own.
If the families think this is okay, that's their business ... but I don't consider it responsible parenting, even if the girl is a legal adult.
Local Aruban guy chats her up, convinces her to go to a "cooler" club nearby.
She drunkenly wanders off from the group, gets groped by the Aruban guy and his friends at the local bar and demands to return to her hotel.
Along the way they have their way with her, kill her, dispose of the body and tell the cops they actually did drop her off like she requested.
The cops accept this explanation, let them go, and watch them.
She could just as easily left a nightclub with 3 scumbags in her home town. Where, isn't the problem. It's the age-old story. Girl is seen leaving with someone she just met and doesn't know.
Well, the transvestites wouldn't be much threat to young girls, at least.
I wonder if the 18 year old paid for this trip herself? I highly doubt it. If the parents hadn't doled out the money, this would not have happened.
The kids had a fabulous time and are constantly asking that we plan a family cruise. Since they are both going off to college this fall, I may have to rob a bank over the summer and oblige them. ;-)
My sister went to Europe with her class and had no problems and she was seventeen.
"Saw the mom interviewed last night -- typical MB housewife. Tennis in morning, dinner at Highland's Bar & Grill later."
I wish I could provide a life like that for my wife.
Yes provided she was sober. A tv show recorded drunken girls being led by men at 2 in the morning. If the cameraman didn't go over and tell the guy to beat it, who knows what would have happened?
Where was it mentioned that she was drunk?
It's supposed to be one of the safest islands to visit. One of my mom's friends sent her daughter there with all her school buddies with no problems.
I just had a sick feeling she was a blonde. A lot of countries (Mexico, Spain etc.) seem to have elements that seek out the blondes since they're rare in their own country. Blondes stick out in a crowd big time. This young lady is very attractive. They should be watching these girls like hawks.
Yeah. . .you are right. . .must have been stone sober from all that partying at a bar. . .it's the drunk ones that don't do that.
I don't think it says that in the article. However, kids do strange things when they're away from their parents.
If she were sober.
It's positively frightening what a drunken teenager can be convinced to do.
On the otherhand;
Did she have life insurance, with democrat parents that are having cash flow problems in their business.?.
It may have happened anyway, but instead of Aruba, we would be talking about Atlanta, New Orleans, or Orlando.
BTW, the problem is not that mommy or daddy may have given her the money, but that at 18 years old she is still unable to fend for herself. If that is in fact the case, then there is no one to blame but mommy and daddy and society itself, which has apparently condoned the raising of children to be children their entire lifes, rather than allowing them to grow up and take responsibility for themselves.
When I was 17 I backpacked through Israel for three months by myself. You can't stop living life because of what MIGHT happen. Sorry.
There are blonde women in Aruba. If anything, these girls are targeted because they don't know the area and they're usually drunk to boot. Look at all the Girls Gone Wild videos. See any 'chaperones' around? Not.
I agree with you.
All of my,now adult, kids, did alot of travelling, both foreign and domestic, while in high school and college.
We knew that they were responsible and careful and we trusted their judgement. Their experiences were invaluable lessons and broadened their horizons.
As young marrieds they all still adore travel and do it as often as possible.
We went to Aruba on our honeymoon 36 years ago. There was virtually nothing there. We just went back last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. We were amazed at the growth. We felt much safer than we have in many other Carribbean Islands.
Sorry, but you are simply incorrect. Being careful doesn't amount to living in fear.
Except in very rare situations, a teenager leaving the country without at least one parent, older (and responsible) sibling, or other close family member or trusted responsible adult, is stupid. There's no other way to put it.
If there are very similar numbers of adults (and I mean over the age of, say, 25 or 30), then that might be one of those rare situations. Its one thing to go to Colorado, but another thing to leave the US.
Very true, but if it happened here, there would be news coverage, volunteers looking for her, massive search, real police work, etc.....in a 3rd world foreign country you will find none of this. I hope at least one teenage girl will hear about his story and make a better decision in her future. This girl did not deserve what ever happened to her and I pray she is found and brought safely home but it does not look good.
There is a lot more to this story that is not being told. I will not say anything more but it was brought up during prayer time last night. It is devastating!
I believe an 18y.o soldier is trained vs. an 18y.o student on a class trip.
She did not. From what we were told last night it is a terrible situation.
An eighteen year is an adult (most of the time). There are basic things I'm sure every parents says to a teen when travelling, don't take rides, don't drink out of someone's glass,etc.etc.
Since you chose to bring up that you are privvy to more information, I think you should share it. Why on Earth would you have brought it up if you didn't want to?
Hyperbole aside, runner-up for "Most stupid remark of the Day".
Hyperbole yes but not stupid. Living in fear is very cripping and prevents a person from experiencing God's best for their lives.
That may be, but since we aren't privy to those details, we have to operate with the information as presented above.
No one is saying live in fear. Good judgement needs to be applied though.
No one ever said differently.
Please reference that information, it is not included in the article. Thanks
Insults and personal attacks are counter to posting guidelines.
I went walking by myself in Paris which would have been no big deal but boy is that place desolate after eleven p.m. :( So yes when travelling a person should use judgment. I feel sorry for this family. I hope the girl is alive but she's probably not.
In all things, wouldn't you agree?