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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: Calpernia

Right.... exactly my sentiments. What were these parents thinking?


41 posted on 06/02/2005 8:26:51 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: 2banana
"...ARUBA - an island of resorts and beauty on the "rim" or beaches, and a freaking Mogadishu war zone on the interior..."

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.

42 posted on 06/02/2005 8:28:22 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: ken5050
I have to ask..."shark-feeding tour?" Was it a scam?

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.

43 posted on 06/02/2005 8:28:22 AM PDT by Malacoda (*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~* ! *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*)
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To: 1Old Pro
Joe Scarborough last night reported that she was last seen getting into a car after leaving a "nightclub" with some men.

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.

44 posted on 06/02/2005 8:28:31 AM PDT by shhrubbery! (The 'right to choose' = The right to choose death --for somebody else.)
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To: af_vet_1981

some because of lax parenting.


45 posted on 06/02/2005 8:28:39 AM PDT by Destro (Know your enemy! Help fight Islamic terrorism by visiting johnathangaltfilms.com and jihadwatch.org)
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To: Ann Archy

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?


46 posted on 06/02/2005 8:29:05 AM PDT by kenth
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To: Ann Archy
I think most parents would encourage their 18 year olds to see the world. Can't protect them forever.
47 posted on 06/02/2005 8:29:40 AM PDT by TBall
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To: Tax-chick

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.


48 posted on 06/02/2005 8:31:23 AM PDT by American Butterfly
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To: shhrubbery!

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.


49 posted on 06/02/2005 8:31:32 AM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: yellowdoghunter
Teenagers have no business leaving the country,

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.

50 posted on 06/02/2005 8:31:45 AM PDT by Protagoras (Iíve had all I can stands and I canít stands no more.....Popeye)
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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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