Image: Abraham Jones
Pedro Famous Diaz  /  AP
Abraham Jones, 28, right, stands with his wife Cynthia and daughter Kiana after being released from the police station in Noord, Aruba, on Monday.
NBC News and news services
updated 6/13/2005 11:47:55 PM ET 2005-06-14T03:47:55

Prosecutors on Monday released two former hotel security guards who were the first men detained in the disappearance of an Alabama honors student, and one proclaimed his innocence.

Three young men who took 18-year-old Natalee Holloway to a beach early in the morning hours before she went missing remain in custody.

The release of Antonius "Mickey" John, 30, and Abraham Jones, 28, came before a judge reviewed a motion for the release filed Monday, said John's lawyer Noraina Pietersz. And it came the day after the missing girl's mother said she believed the former security guards were innocent.

"I'm very happy but also disappointed," John told The Associated Press of his detention since June 5. "I knew from day one that I was innocent."

Mother speaks out
Earlier on Monday, Holloway's mother old NBC News that the three other young men who are being held as suspects "hold the key" to the mystery and that the governments of Aruba and the United States need to pressure them into revealing the truth.

Video: A mother's plea One of the men is the son of a senior Dutch justice official. The other two are brothers from Suriname.

"I know that they know where my daughter is," Beth Holloway Twitty said on NBC's "Today" show. "I know that."

"Those were the last three men that were with my daughter. They know what they did with her and they know where she is."

Holloway Twitty did not say what she thought the young men had done or whether she thought her daughter was still alive.

She acknowledged that "in the back of my mind" she wonders if the three were being protected by Auruban authorities.

Frustration over lack of progress
"We have to have answers from these three young men," she added. "They hold the key. They had the answers. It's going to be up to the governments to put enough pressure on these individuals to divulge the information. They know where my daughter is."

Holloway Twitty said she felt no progress had been made in the investigation. "That is my frustration," she said, adding that this could have happened to any family. Natalee, she added, is "everyone's daughter."

Video: Aruba probe

The three young men have told police they took the 18-year-old Holloway to a lighthouse beside the island’s Arisha Beach, but didn’t get out of the car. The brothers, Satish Kalpoe, 18, and Deepak Kalpoe, 21, also told police that Natalee and the Dutch teen had been kissing in the back seat of the car.

They said they dropped her off at her hotel about 2 a.m. and last saw her being approached by a man in a security guard uniform before they drove off, a lawyer for the brothers has said.

The three young men were detained on Thursday.

Holloway Twitty said Sunday she met the three young men within 12 hours of Natalee’s disappearance, adding that it surprised her that it took authorities more than a week to detain them.

No one above law, PM says
Authorities have said they are pursuing all leads, while Prime Minister Nelson Oduber has said that “no one stands above the law” on the island.

Natalee Holloway vanished hours before she was expected at the airport following a five-day trip to the Dutch Caribbean island with 124 classmates and seven chaperones celebrating their graduation from Mountain Brook High School, near Birmingham, Ala. Her U.S. passport and packed bags were found in her hotel room.

Attorney General Caren Janssen said Sunday that wasn’t the case but declined to give details. “We are still in the middle of an investigation,” she said.

An alleged confession reported by a police chief and its subsequent retraction by the attorney general fueled rumors of the young woman’s demise.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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