Natalee Holloway isn't the first young American woman to disappear in the Caribbean. Seven years ago, then-23-year-old Amy Bradley went missing while on a Caribbean cruise with her family. On March 24, 1998, Bradley was seen by her father at about 5:30 a.m. on her cabin balcony. At 6 a.m., her father awoke and Amy Bradley was gone.
Two women on the cruise reported seeing the woman riding the elevator to the top deck just before it docked at the island of Curacao. At 6 a.m., Amy Bradley was with a musician from the ship's band, they said. A Curacao cab driver told Bradley's father that Amy approached his cab the morning she went missing and said she urgently needed a phone. In addition, two strangers say they saw Amy on Curacao, one in August in 1998, the other in January of 1999.
Bradley remains missing. There's a $260,000 reward for any information leading to her whereabouts. On Tuesday, Dan Abrams talked to her parents, Iva and Ron Bradley, about the search for their daughter.
To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below.
Iva Bradley, mother of missing girl: We have fought for seven years to get the attention that Amy needs to be found. When we discovered Amy missing, we begged the ship's personnel to not put the gangway down, to not allow anybody to leave the ship. And we told them that, if Amy had left the room for any more than 15 minutes, she would have left us a note.
And they put the gangway down anyway. People left the ship in Curacao. And please keep in mind that Curacao is part of the Netherlands Antilles. It's the next island over from Aruba.
We spent the entire day in Aruba, the day before. We rented a Jeep. We went out all day long. One side of the island is for tourists, obviously. The other side of the island is destitute, as far as desert, and tumbleweeds, goats, dogs.
We get back on the boat. We're there that afternoon. That evening, one of the waiters came up to us as we were in the atrium. He specifically asked for Amy by name. I asked him why he wanted Amy. He said because we want to take her to a bar.
And I said, "She's with her brother in the casino." So when they came out, we told her about the waiter wanting to take her off of the ship. And she screwed her mouth up and said, "No way, that's too creepy." We suggested being in a foreign country that they not leave the ship. We came to find out that the same bar that they wanted to take Amy to was the same bar as Natalee Holloway was in.
Dan Abrams: And that struck me, Mr. Bradley, when I heard about that. I mean, when you heard about this story, obviously, the location, you know, must have made you sort of particularly attuned to this story. But then when you heard the name of the bar, you know...
Ron Bradley, father of the missing girl: Well, that's true. And we've maintained from the beginning that someone saw Amy and took Amy from that ship in some way, that several ways by boat, through cargo, the cargo doors that open and close.
And then, when I just recently heard you say about the possible kidnapping, it just brings everything home as to what we expected the whole time. And I certainly hope that that's not the case. And I certainly hope that Natalee will be found.
Abrams: What do you make, Ms. Bradley, of the reported sightings of her? How reliable do you think that they have been?
Iva Bradley: Well, I believe the reported sightings are from people that have come forward that have seen Amy. The two Canadians that saw Amy on the beach in 1998, they described her tattoos, her demeanor, and did not know she was missing.
The Naval person who went to a brothel on Curacao said that Amy asked him for help, told him her name. She said, "My name is Amy Bradley. Please help me." He didn't know anybody was missing. He told her there was a naval ship five minutes down the dock that she could leave.
And she said, "No, you don't understand. Please help me. My name is Amy Bradley." At that time, two men in the bar removed her, told her to move and go upstairs.
He did not report anything. He had been on the ship. And being a petty officer, there were certain unauthorized areas that he could not go into, and that's where he was. When he saw Amy on the front cover of a major magazine, he had since retired and he contacted us.
And he said, "I have seen your daughter. I have seen her. I have talked to her. And she was in trouble." And he said, "I apologize for not doing anything about that."
There's one thing I want to make clear here to parents and to people that are traveling. Venezuela, on a good day from Curacao or Aruba, is in sight. We have been told by locals and been told by investigators, there are boats incoming. They come and go freely.
We also know there's a tremendous amount of drug trade. That's not a secret from Venezuela through those islands, up through the United States, or wherever they're going with the drugs.
So we're putting our families and our children in danger, and because of the situation with the United States being in a position where they say they have no jurisdiction, it hurt us terribly, and it hurt Amy. And we've not gotten the help that we need.
Abrams: Well, I'm hoping that -- you know, it's hard to say this, but that this other story, which is a horrible, horrible tragedy that, you know, hopefully that both can somehow end in a positive way and that one may be able to help the other.
Iva Bradley: I certainly hope so.
If you have any information in the case of missing American Amy Bradley, please call (804) 276 8503.
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