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The mother of the missing teen in Aruba ups the ante for information about her daughter

By Todd Peterson
Updated July 26, 2005 02:00 PM
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The reward for information leading to the return of Natalee Holloway was raised to $1 million by the missing girl’s mother on Monday.

Beth Holloway Twitty told reporters that friends had offered additional money for the reward, which was previously set at $200,000. Natalee’s stepfather, Jug Twitty, said that recent rumors have surfaced that Natalee might be in Venezuela or some other country. “We are doing everything we possibly can to find out if Natalee’s alive out there,” he said.

Several recent developments in the case offered new hope this week, Beth Holloway Twitty said, including fresh information provided to the FBI as well as new witnesses coming forward. “We’re optimistic that maybe we’ll have a break this week,” said Twitty.

Meanwhile, forensic officers in the U.S. and Holland are testing a piece of duct tape with blonde hair attached to it that was found in Aruba last week to see if it’s a DNA match for Holloway.

In Aruba, 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot, who admitted to being with Holloway the night she disappeared, remains in jail. Two brothers, Satish and Deepak Kalpoe, ages 18 and 21, both of whom also spent time with Holloway that night were picked up by police on June 9 and released from jail July 4.

The FBI reportedly has pushed for more access to the case from authorities in Aruba. A group of officials from the Aruban prosecutor’s office traveled to the FBI’s main lab in Quantico, Virginia, on Sunday in order to see how that agency might help the case.

Holloway, 18, disappeared from Aruba while on a trip with classmates from her Birmingham, Ala., school. A $100,000 reward for information leading to the return of her possible remains is in place as well.