A Father's Anguish: Natalee Holloway's Dad Grapples With Theory of What Happened to Her Remains

Natalee Holloway vanished in Aruba in 2005 on a school trip

Dave Holloway has endured plenty of emotional turmoil as theories about the 2005 disappearance of his daughter Natalee have piled up, only to be disproven. The latest theory — that her bones were dug up, pummeled into fragments and dust, then discarded again — is as painful to consider as any of them.

“I don’t need to hear this again and again and again, you know?,” he says in an exclusive clip from the six-part Oxygen series, The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway, which airs its final episode on Saturday. “If it’s real, it’s real. If it’s not, it’s not.”

Oxygen.com on Thursday released images of four bone fragments, which an American forensic scientist on the series says were linked by DNA to human Caucasian and European ancestry that might match the Alabama teen who went missing in Aruba on May 30, 2005, while on a high school graduation trip.


The Aruban prosecutor’s office, with access to those same bone fragments, issued an earlier statement saying they were not human remains and likely belonged to an animal.

Further testing on the fragments — which were given to Dave Holloway and thus cannot be used for any future criminal prosecution in Aruba — is expected to take place on October 6, according to the forensic scientist, Dr. Jason Kowolski.

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The series follows an 18-month undercover effort by Dave Holloway and his private investigator, T.J. Ward, as they pursue an informant’s finger-pointing at an alleged accomplice who says he participated in the removal and destruction of bones from an alleged burial site identified by Joran van der Sloot, the longtime suspect in Natalee’s disappearance.


According to the series, van der Sloot — one of the last people seen with Natalee — was with her when she choked on her own vomit after allegedly ingesting GHB, a date-rape drug. The alleged accomplice says he was told that van der Sloot then enlisted his father, Paulus, to help bury the body, which the alleged accomplice says he helped Joran van der Sloot dig up in 2010.

The alleged accomplice claimed the two men found the remains buried in a burlap sack wrapped in a blue tarp, then doused the skull with gasoline to burn it before they “pummeled” the rest to be unrecognizable “as arm bones or skull or anything like that,” then rented a fisherman’s boat to dump them at sea.

The alleged accomplice has not been charged by Aruban authorities.


A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, Ann Angela, told PEOPLE this week when asked again about the alleged accomplice’s account: “It is against our policy to give out information about individuals in a case. This means that I cannot confirm nor deny the identity of this person, or that he is either a witness or a suspect in the Holloway case.”

In the exclusive clip from the series, Ward talks with members of his investigative team as he recounts the alleged accomplice’s version of events: The alleged accomplice says that after he and van der Sloot unearthed the remains in 2010, the two men took them to a nearby rental home that belonged to the aunt of the accomplice, where they “opened the tarp up and van der Sloot beat the back of the neck and the head.”

A visibly upset Dave Holloway interrupts him: “Why don’t I leave the room and then you explain to her in detail so I won’t have to listen to it again, OK?”


Tracy Sargent, a canine search and rescue specialist working with Ward on the case, says afterward in response to that allegation: “He knows his daughter’s dead. But to hear about what happened to her remains and what they did to hear afterwards, no parent should have to hear that.”

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In 2005 Joran van der Sloot was detained and questioned but never prosecuted in the case. His father, Paulus, who was a judicial official on the island at the time, has since died.

Joran van der Sloot has repeatedly changed his account of what happened the night Natalee vanished, even once promising to tell the attorney for Natalee’s mother, Beth, where her remains were buried in exchange for money, while also claiming his innocence.

He is now serving a prison sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of another young woman.

The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway airs Saturday (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.) on Oxygen.

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