Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paradise Lost: The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway

Searches and Suits

In April 2007, a Dutch-led team of investigators from The Netherlands and Aruba began re-examining the case. The Dutch government, which has been critical of the Arubans' handling of the case, has taken over the investigation.

On April 27, a team of 20 Dutch forensic investigators began two days of searching and digging at the van der Sloot estate on Aruba.

In May, a team of investigators performed what they referred to as an "inspection" at the home Deepak and Satish Kalpoe share with their parents.

Aruban authorities insist the case has not gone cold, and that they are vigorously pursuing every lead.

Mansur thinks the Dutch-led effort is sincere.

"These are very serious people," he said. "They belong to the Forensic Institute of Holland. They came in full force here. They are spending a lot of money, a lot of time, and a lot of energy. I can't imagine they would do that just for a show."

Meanwhile, the case has taken its toll on Beth Twitty. In April, she and husband Jug split up. In June, news reports surfaced that she was dating John Ramsey, father of JonBenet Ramsey, the 6-year-old found slain in the basement of her Boulder, Colorado, home in 1996.

Since Natalee Holloway disappeared a little more than two years ago, her family has filed wrongful death lawsuits in New York against the van der Sloots and in California against the Kalpoes.

Both suits have been dismissed, but another California lawsuit, this one filed by the Kalpoes and charging the syndicated television program The Dr. Phil Show with defamation and fraud, is still pending. The Kalpoes' suit is the result of a taped interview of Deepak Kalpoe that aired on Dr. Phil. In the broadcast version of the interview, Deepak seems to admit to having had sex with Natalee. However, an unedited version of the same tape reportedly shows Deepak clearly denying he had sex with Natalee and further claiming that he didn't know of anyone else who had had sex with her.

What seems to have gotten lost amid all the accusations of incompetence, corruption, and cover up; and the counter accusations of interference, political pressure, and slander is Natalee Holloway, a bright-eyed, energetic young woman, who would now be 20 years old and a junior in college, but instead has been missing for more than two years.

Instead of sniping at each other on TV and in the press, maybe everyone involved in the case could take a lesson from the Dutch and concentrate on finding out what happened to Natalee.

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