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Aruba police officer says son questioned

The former chief investigator in the disappearance of an Alabama teenager in Aruba said Sunday that his 19-year-old son has been questioned as a witness in the still-unsolved case.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The former lead investigator in the disappearance of an Alabama teenager said Sunday that his 19-year-old son has been questioned as a witness in the still-unsolved case.

Aruban Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig told The Associated Press that police investigating the disappearance of Natalee Holloway have twice questioned his 19-year-old son, Michael — once since the April 15 arrest of Geoffrey van Cromvoirt, who is also 19.

“Michael was merely one of the many people who were questioned as witnesses in this investigation and was never considered a suspect,” Dompig said in a telephone interview.

Dompig, who is no longer lead investigator for reasons that have not been publicly disclosed, spoke with the AP after his son gave an interview to Fox News on Saturday saying that the Holloway family and others who have alleged incompetence and conflicts of interest in the investigation have been “trying to bring my father down.”

The police commissioner said Sunday he did not agree with his son’s comments, and called the interview a “regrettable incident.”

He did not say whether his son was questioned about van Cromvoirt, who was arrested on suspicion of “criminal offenses that may be related to the disappearance” of Holloway, according to authorities, who have not provided further details.

Local newspapers have reported that Gerold Dompig’s son worked for the same private security company as van Cromvoirt but the police commissioner did not confirm that. Michael Dompig was questioned for the second time during a resurgence of activity after van Cromvoirt’s arrest that included new searches of the sea floor off Aruba. The police commissioner did not say when the first interview of his son took place.

Authorities continued to study images of the sea floor taken during a four-day search by the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba Coast Guard, Mariaine Croes, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, said Saturday.

She declined to say how the search was related to Holloway’s disappearance, or what authorities hope to find.

Croes said that prosecutors must present new evidence to a judge by April 25 to keep van Cromvoirt in custody. They had not yet done so as of Saturday, she said.

Van Cromvoirt’s lawyer said he has no connection to Holloway’s disappearance in May 2005. Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., was last seen driving from a bar with three local young men on the final night of a high school graduation trip to the Dutch Caribbean island.

Aruban authorities have arrested seven people in connection with Holloway’s disappearance, and later released them for lack of evidence.