Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paradise Lost: The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway

The First Arrests

A couple of days after Joran's first encounter with Natalee's family, he and the Kalpoes fingered two black hotel security guards they said had approached Natalee as she walked away from Deepak's car at the Holiday Inn.

Nick John
Nick John

On June 5, the Aruban cops arrested security guards Nick John, 30, and Abraham Jones, 28. Three days later a judge ordered the two men held on suspicion of kidnapping and murder. Under Dutch law, the police could hold the men for up to 116 days without charging them.

Abraham Jones
Abraham Jones

Beth and Jug Twitty, who by that time had been joined by Natalee's father, Dave Holloway, continued to push the cops toward Joran and the Kalpoes as the main suspects.

On June 9ten days after Natalee disappearedAruban police arrested Joran and the Kalpoe brothers on suspicion of murdering Natalee.

Four days later, a judge ordered the release of the two security guards.

On June 17, police arrested Steven Croes, a local disc jockey who played music at bars and on a party boat called the Tattoo. Croes was a friend of Joran and Deepak and backed up their story that they had dropped Natalee off at the Holiday Inn after riding around the island in Deepak's car. Ten days later a judge decided that although Croes had lied to police, he wasn't directly tied to Natalee's disappearance. The judge ordered the police to release the disc jockey.

On June 18 and 19, Aruban police spent a total of seven hours questioning Joran's father, a lawyer who was training to become a judge. Four days later the police arrested him.

On June 26, without explanation, a fellow judge ordered Paulus van der Sloot released from custody.

By that time, the Aruban investigators had become tired of the Twittys.

Gerold Dompig
Gerold Dompig

"Jug and his Alabama friends, they basically came out and said they would bring hell to our island if Natalee wasn't found'burn it down' were the exact words," Deputy Police Chief Gerold Dompig told Vanity Fair. "That's when I knew we were in serious trouble."

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