Two Suspects Charged in Aruba

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Aruba authorities have charged two men in the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway, the Alabama girl who went missing last week during a high school senior trip.

Natalee is the daughter of Dave Holloway of Meridian and Beth Twitty of Birmingham.

The two arrests came nearly a week after Holloway disappeared while celebrating her Mountain Brook High School graduation with a five-day trip to the Dutch Caribbean island with classmates.

Many feared the worst when authorities announced they had found a blood-soaked mattress at a beach in eastern Aruba, but police says it turned out to be blood from a dead dog found nearby.

At a Sunday news conference, Attorney General Caren Janssen said the men arrested, ages 28 and 30, were picked up at two separate homes in the southeastern community of San Nicolas.

Police knocked on the door of one house, put the suspect on the floor and handcuffed him. Officers later detained the second man. They both were led to an unmarked police car and taken away. Police also left the premises with bags holding unidentified items.

Neighbors described the men as security guards who worked at a hotel closed down for renovation near where the teen was staying at the Holiday Inn. Aruba's deputy police chief, Gerold Dompig, confirmed that the suspects were security guards.

Janssen declined to provide the specific charges, saying the case will go before a local judge within 48 hours of the arrests to determine whether the detentions are legal.

A reward of about $50,000 is being offered for Holloway's safe return.

Janssen says authorities called for a special FBI diving team because of rough currents in some areas. She says authorities had not found any of Holloway's belongings at the suspects' homes.

Authorities impounded three vehicles found at the two homes, and a team of more than a dozen FBI agents will help perform forensic testing on them.


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