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Mountain Brook girl disappears during senior trip to Aruba
AP via AL.com ^ | 6/1/2005 | AP

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.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Alabama
KEYWORDS: aruba; casaloma; missing; nataleeholloway
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To: ken5050

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.


51 posted on 06/02/2005 8:32:14 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Malacoda
See my above post. Don't hesitate to go to Aruba. It's really one of the best spots in the Caribbean; not some third-world hell-hole full of street urchins trying to pick your pocket.

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.

52 posted on 06/02/2005 8:33:31 AM PDT by Victor (If an expert says it can't be done, get another expert." -David Ben-Gurion, the first Prime Minister)
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To: Victor

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.


53 posted on 06/02/2005 8:33:40 AM PDT by American Butterfly
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To: 1Old Pro

Good point. . what was she doing going off with no friends into the dark with some locals. . .no judgment, bad judgment. . .whatever.


54 posted on 06/02/2005 8:33:45 AM PDT by Gunrunner2
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To: PBRSTREETGANG

They used her and took her for an over the horizon boat ride.........she's toast IMO.


55 posted on 06/02/2005 8:36:25 AM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet. ©)
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To: Quilla
So the adult chaperone's had a good time...what did the kids think of it?
56 posted on 06/02/2005 8:36:32 AM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken
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To: Ann Archy
Ridiculous....why would anyone, even divorced parents, let their 18 year old go out of the country without them?? Stupid.

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.

57 posted on 06/02/2005 8:37:22 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: TBall
>>I think most parents would encourage their 18 year olds to see the world. <<

I'm sure of it. . .but I am equally as sure that most parents don't encourage their 18 yr-old daughters to travel to a foreign country so the daughter can party, get drunk and dissappear into the darkness with local men.
58 posted on 06/02/2005 8:37:35 AM PDT by Gunrunner2
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To: Malacoda

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.)


59 posted on 06/02/2005 8:38:06 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: American Butterfly
... traveling abroad is not the issue here. The issue is whether or not she ran away on her own, or by force.

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.

60 posted on 06/02/2005 8:39:57 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Who needs pictures when you can have words?)
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To: SamFromLivingston
My guess: pretty blonde American teenager is trashed out of her mind at local Aruban nightclub.

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.

61 posted on 06/02/2005 8:40:16 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave troops and their Commander-in-Chief)
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To: 1Old Pro

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.


62 posted on 06/02/2005 8:42:34 AM PDT by GOP_Proud (...stumbling across Bill Bennett on the radio is like bumping into Socrates at Starbucks.-K.Parker)
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To: SamFromLivingston
Why would any parent let their kids go to a transvestite mecca?
63 posted on 06/02/2005 8:43:22 AM PDT by fso301
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To: fso301

Well, the transvestites wouldn't be much threat to young girls, at least.


64 posted on 06/02/2005 8:45:29 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Who needs pictures when you can have words?)
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To: wideawake
I think she would be more likely to go somewhere with another American tourist she met. Unfortunately evil people are everywhere and young girls need to know how to limit their vulnerability.
65 posted on 06/02/2005 8:45:39 AM PDT by TBall
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To: Labyrinthos
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 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.

66 posted on 06/02/2005 8:46:16 AM PDT by yellowdoghunter (Liberals should be seen and not heard.)
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To: Wally_Kalbacken
Thank you for pointing out that glaring grammatical error - my apologies.

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. ;-)

67 posted on 06/02/2005 8:47:02 AM PDT by Quilla
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To: Ann Archy

My sister went to Europe with her class and had no problems and she was seventeen.


68 posted on 06/02/2005 8:50:22 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: CWW

"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.


69 posted on 06/02/2005 8:50:53 AM PDT by em2vn
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To: American Butterfly

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?


70 posted on 06/02/2005 8:52:35 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: Gunrunner2

Where was it mentioned that she was drunk?


71 posted on 06/02/2005 8:52:37 AM PDT by em2vn
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To: Malacoda

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.


72 posted on 06/02/2005 8:53:49 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: csvset

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.


73 posted on 06/02/2005 8:54:03 AM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: em2vn

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.


74 posted on 06/02/2005 8:54:17 AM PDT by Gunrunner2
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To: em2vn

I don't think it says that in the article. However, kids do strange things when they're away from their parents.


75 posted on 06/02/2005 8:54:48 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: TBall
I think she would be more likely to go somewhere with another American tourist she met.

If she were sober.

It's positively frightening what a drunken teenager can be convinced to do.

76 posted on 06/02/2005 8:56:03 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave troops and their Commander-in-Chief)
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To: GOP_Proud

EXACTLY.


77 posted on 06/02/2005 8:56:07 AM PDT by Paved Paradise
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To: wideawake
[ 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. ]

On the otherhand;
Did she have life insurance, with democrat parents that are having cash flow problems in their business.?.

78 posted on 06/02/2005 8:56:50 AM PDT by hosepipe (This propaganda has been ok'ed by me to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: Victor
perhaps this is unrelated but who knows. Kidnappers
79 posted on 06/02/2005 8:57:40 AM PDT by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free....)
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To: yellowdoghunter
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.

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.

80 posted on 06/02/2005 8:58:34 AM PDT by Labyrinthos
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To: Ann Archy

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.


81 posted on 06/02/2005 8:58:54 AM PDT by Hildy ( The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue)
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To: Paved Paradise

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.


82 posted on 06/02/2005 9:00:47 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: Hildy

I agree with you.


83 posted on 06/02/2005 9:01:14 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: yellowdoghunter

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.


84 posted on 06/02/2005 9:02:40 AM PDT by surrey
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To: Protagoras

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.


85 posted on 06/02/2005 9:03:18 AM PDT by 1L
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To: Labyrinthos
It may have happened anyway, but instead of Aruba, we would be talking about Atlanta, New Orleans, or Orlando.

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.

86 posted on 06/02/2005 9:03:31 AM PDT by yellowdoghunter (Liberals should be seen and not heard.)
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To: Broker

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!


87 posted on 06/02/2005 9:04:00 AM PDT by MamaB (mom to an angel)
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To: ken5050

I believe an 18y.o soldier is trained vs. an 18y.o student on a class trip.


88 posted on 06/02/2005 9:08:01 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Protagoras

She did not. From what we were told last night it is a terrible situation.


89 posted on 06/02/2005 9:11:50 AM PDT by MamaB (mom to an angel)
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To: Calpernia

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.


90 posted on 06/02/2005 9:12:03 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: MamaB

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?


91 posted on 06/02/2005 9:12:45 AM PDT by Hildy ( The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue)
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To: Protagoras
Sorry, I disagree. Living in fear is the same as being dead.

Hyperbole aside, runner-up for "Most stupid remark of the Day".

92 posted on 06/02/2005 9:14:09 AM PDT by Publius6961 (Before)
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To: Publius6961; Protagoras

Hyperbole yes but not stupid. Living in fear is very cripping and prevents a person from experiencing God's best for their lives.


93 posted on 06/02/2005 9:15:29 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: MamaB
From what we were told last night it is a terrible situation.

That may be, but since we aren't privy to those details, we have to operate with the information as presented above.

94 posted on 06/02/2005 9:17:30 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: cyborg

No one is saying live in fear. Good judgement needs to be applied though.


95 posted on 06/02/2005 9:26:12 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: 1L
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.

No one ever said differently.

96 posted on 06/02/2005 9:26:16 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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To: MamaB
She did not. From what we were told last night it is a terrible situation.

Please reference that information, it is not included in the article. Thanks

97 posted on 06/02/2005 9:27:24 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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To: Publius6961

Insults and personal attacks are counter to posting guidelines.


98 posted on 06/02/2005 9:28:41 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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To: Calpernia

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.


99 posted on 06/02/2005 9:29:41 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: Calpernia
Good judgement needs to be applied though.

In all things, wouldn't you agree?

100 posted on 06/02/2005 9:29:50 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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