Image: Kalpoes and van der Sloot
AP file photos
Photos taken while the suspects were in custody show, from left, Deepak Kalpoe, Satish Kalpoe and Joran van der Sloot. On Saturday, all three of the men were released from jail in Aruba.
updated 9/3/2005 7:30:04 PM ET 2005-09-03T23:30:04

All three suspects in the disappearance of an Alabama teenager were released from jail Saturday in a setback for the prosecution and the biggest blow yet to Natalee Holloway’s family.

Joran van der Sloot, an 18-year-old Dutchman, and two Surinamese brothers, Satish Kalpoe, 18 and Deepak Kalpoe, 21, were released on condition they remain in Dutch territory and be available to police for questioning.

The Kalpoe brothers emerged from prison dressed in jeans, carrying black plastic bags and accompanied by their lawyers.

“It’s a happy day for the Kalpoe family,” said David Kock, an attorney for Satish.

At his home later, Van der Sloot came out smiling, flung an arm around his father’s neck and squeezed his mother’s shoulder. He did not address reporters.

“We would like to express our happiness to have Joran back in our lives,” said his mother, Anita. “His life has been turned upside down.”

Van She said her family had been the victim of “slander based on rumor and gossip. It is easy to destroy the lives of people, especially through the press.”

Van der Sloot to leave for Holland
Van der Sloot’s lawyer, Richie Kock, said the teenager would soon be going to university in Holland: “Joran will be trusted to be on his own in Holland and to do as he pleases,” he said. “We do not have a parole system.”

As a Dutch citizen, van der Sloot is allowed to leave Aruba but must remain in Dutch territory, said Richie Kock. The Surinamese brothers must remain on the island because they have different visa requirements for traveling to other Dutch territories, said David Kock.

The missing teen’s mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, renewed her criticism of the investigation.

“If the investigation had been handled properly during the first 10 days, the world would not have witnessed and experienced the pain and suffering my family and I have endured,” Holloway Twitty said. “For the rest of my life, I will continue to be the voice for my daughter, seeking justice in Aruba. Every parent would want the same justice for their child.”

The Holloway family has insisted that all three young men know what happened to the Alabama honors student, who vanished May 30 on the last day of a vacation to celebrate her high school graduation.

Questions about case's status
Despite Saturday's releases, police insist the investigation into Holloway's widely publicized disappearance will continue.

"The investigation continues. The case of Natalee Holloway has not concluded with these releases," Adolfo Richardson, the police officer in charge, told The Associated Press on Friday. In fact, NBC News reported Saturday that police and firefighters were at the scene of a "major dig," at the beachside area where van der Sloot said he last saw Holloway.

But legal observers in Aruba say the releases signal that the government had no case, more than three months after the disappearance.

"The prosecution doesn't know what criminal act occurred — acts which might be murder, kidnapping, rape," said attorney Arlene Skipper, a legal observer of the case. "It is still a missing-person case. ... The prosecution has a strong suspicion of foul play but no proof of it. ... If they had solid proof, they could close the case."

The missing teen's mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, said Friday she was devastated by the news of the releases. The Holloway family has insisted that all three young men know what happened to Natalee —and family members have been critical of Aruban authorities' handling of the case, especially the initial investigation.

This report includes information from NBC News.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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