The Aruban prosecutor’s office has dismissed a “supposed eyewitness” in the 10-year-old mystery of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance, saying the man’s account of where he last saw a suspect with the Alabama teen can’t possibly be true.
In a statement released Tuesday, a spokesman for Aruba’s Chief Prosecutor Eric Olthof said the office dug further into the claim by Jurrien De Jong – which the office says De Jong first shared with them in 2013 – that he saw suspect Joran van der Sloot chase Holloway, 18, into a small building under construction. She was on the last night of a 2005 high school class graduation trip to the island.
That site had been identified by De Jong as the Spyglass Tower of Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club resort. He recently told Inside Edition that he later saw van der Sloot emerge carrying Holloway in his arms before dropping her body and creating an opening in a crawl space.
“I saw Natalee Holloway on the last night that she was alive. I was the eyewitness,” De Jong told the show, generating headlines about a new witness in the case. “I knew she was dead.”
But after consulting with Marriott – asking, “In short: what was built and what was not yet built on that 30th of May 2005, the night of the disappearance of Natalee?” – the prosecutor’s office concluded, “it becomes indisputably clear that on the 30th of May 2005, no construction or building activities were started at the location that Mr. De Jong has specifically pointed out as the spot where Natalee Holloway would have been hidden and/or buried.”
The prosecutor’s statement continued: “More concretely: the foundation of the Spyglass Tower and of the staircase of the Spyglass Tower was not in place. This means that Natalee Holloway could never have been hidden and/or buried there.”
“This leads to the conclusion that the claims made by Mr. De Jong of what he saw on the night of 30th of May 2005, cannot be correct, and that his testimony, considering the afore-mentioned, does not add to the solving of this case.”
“Further investigation (in any manner whatsoever) under the staircase of the Spyglass Tower will not lead to finding the body of Natalee Holloway.”
Holloway’s father, Dave, had cited the tip as reason to revisit the island this month to check out what he believed to be a new clue.
Holloway’s fate remains unknown, though she was declared dead by a judge.
Meanwhile van der Sloot, the last person known to be seen with her, is serving 28 years in prison for a murder committed in Peru in 2010, on the exact fifth anniversary of Holloway’s disappearance.
Days earlier he had fled Aruba after taking $25,000 from Holloway’s mother, Beth, in exchange for information about the teen’s whereabouts that proved false. He still stands accused of extortion in U.S. federal court.
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