Aruba officials chase another futile Holloway tip

Aruba Natalee Holloway

ORANJESTAD, Aruba (AP) — Aruba prosecutors said Wednesday that yet another tip about the location of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway’s body turned out to be false.

Authorities said they had received a tip from a man who previously claimed to be a witness to Holloway’s disappearance on May 30, 2005. The man, identified as Jurrien de Jong, insisted that Holloway was buried under a staircase of the Marriott Hotel in Aruba, prosecutors said.

They said his claims led chief prosecutor Eric Olthof to ask that Aruba police contact Marriott’s management office in Orlando, Florida, to determine when the hotel’s Spyglass Tower and its staircase was built. Marriott officials said neither the tower nor its staircase had been built when Holloway disappeared, prosecutors said.

“This means that Natalee Holloway could never have been hidden and/or buried there,” officials said in a statement. “This leads to the conclusion that the claims made by Mr. De Jong … cannot be correct, and that his testimony … does not add to the solving of this case.”

Holloway was on a high school graduation trip when she vanished. The 18-year-old from Alabama was last seen leaving a bar with Joran van der Sloot, a Dutchman raised in Aruba who is the chief suspect in her disappearance.

Van der Sloot later pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of a woman in Peru killed five years to the day after Holloway disappeared.

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