The Aruban prosecutor that earlier in the week told CNN that the jaw bone found on an Aruban beach once belonged to a young woman is now on his way home from the Netherlands, according to Aruban authorities. At the same time, a source close to Natalee Holloway’s family told ABC Saturday that the Dutch forensics lab that had been conducting tests on the bone has had Holloway’s dental records since Tuesday. The source also noted that the Netherlands Forensics Institute in The Hague had had more than enough time to make a comparison.
“They almost certainly know by now the results,” the source told ABC News.
“There are mixed signals,” the source continued. “If it wasn’t her I’d think they’d come out and say it wasn’t her with all the fanfare.”
Prosecutor Peter Blanken, though, has remained silent on the matter. Blanken had flown to the Netherlands to be on hand for the DNA testing. The Netherlands Forensics Institute stated earlier in the week that they would leave the announcements of any findings to Aruban authorities.
The jaw bone was reportedly found by a tourist couple near the Phoenix Hotel on Aruba. Although accounts of exactly how the bone made its way to authorities vary, the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaph reported that the couple took the bone to the hotel and the hotel turned it over to Aruban investigators.
The silence, however, seems to be giving some hope to those connected to Natalee Holloway’s family, hope that the five-and-a-half-year-old case can finally begin to find a path to resolution. Although many questions would still remain, fears that Natalee Holloway might have been kidnapped or sold into slavery could finally be put to rest. Of course, how she might have died would still remain a mystery, at least for the present, but even Holloway’s parents have been relatively certain that she died or was killed on Aruba in 2005.
Most believe, including Natalee Holloway’s mother, Beth Twitty, that Joran Van Der Sloot, a young Dutchman who is believed to be the last person to see her alive, was involved in her death. Although he was arrested twice in connection to the 18-year-old’s disappearance, Van Der Sloot was released both times due to lack of evidence. He escaped prosecution again later when a secretly taped interview with a Dutch reporter in 2008 — wherein the young Dutchman admitted to being present when the young woman died, then subsequently disposed of her body offshore — was deemed inadmissible as evidence by Aruban authorities.
But he recently offered to exchange information about Natalee Holloway’s death, including possibly the location of her body, from his prison cell in Lima, Peru, where Joran Van Der Sloot currently awaits trial for the murder of another young woman, 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez. Van Der Sloot originally confessed to the murder of the University of Lima business student, but later retracted the statement.
Stephany Flores Ramirez’ body was found in Van Der Sloot’s Lima hotel room in June and an international warrant for his arrest was issued. He was later extradited after an arrest in Chile. Lima authorities were able to determine that Ramirez had been murdered on May 30, the same day that Natalee Holloway went missing in Aruba five years earlier.
Sarah Netter, “Source: Dutch Authorities ‘Almost Certainly Know’ Whether Jaw Bone Belongs to Natalee Holloway,” ABCNews.go.com