Dutch police have arrested a new suspect in the year-old case of the Aruba disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway.
The new suspect, who has not been named, has not been formally charged. His lawyer, Gerard Spong, said he would fight extradition to Aruba, ABC News reports.
“My client is indicted of murder and manslaughter,” said Spong. “He has never met (Holloway). He claims that he has never seen her and he claims that he is completely innocent.”
According to ABC News, the suspect was working in an Aruba casino when Holloway, an 18-year-old Alabama native, vanished in May 2005. The suspect claims he does not know another suspect, Joran van der Sloot, who has admitted he kissed Holloway the night she disappeared.
But Van der Sloot’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, said, “Joran knew this individual casually, both from the tennis club and from seeing him out and about and certainly hasn’t spoken to him in the last six months or so.”
Holloway’s mother, Beth Twitty, said she and her family are trying not to be overly optimistic: “With each arrest and question and release, we have been totally just been devastated numerous times during the investigation, so we really have to just stop, take a minute and see what happens.”
Authorities have arrested eight suspects in the case, including Aruba teen Geoffrey van Cromvoirt last month, and released all of them for lack of evidence.