Aruban authorities on Monday released a 19-year-old Dutch national suspected of involvement of the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway.
Geoffrey van Cromvoirt was seen leaving jail and apparently picked up by his parents in the morning, according to an NBC News producer.
In a statement, authorities said, "The suspect G.v.C. has been released from police custody. He has been released because the grounds for his detention are no longer there. He remains a suspect."
Last week, prosecutors announced they had taken van Cromvoirt into custody in connection with the case. It was the first major development in months in a case that has featured numerous false leads and the arrest of seven people who were later released.
Meanwhile, the former lead investigator in the case, Aruban Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig, said that police investigating the Holloway’s disappearance twice questioned his 19-year-old son, Michael — once since the April 15 van Cromvoirt’s arrest.
“Michael was merely one of the many people who were questioned as witnesses in this investigation and was never considered a suspect,” Dompig said Sunday.
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.
Same security company
Local newspapers have reported that Dompig’s son worked for the same private security company as van Cromvoirt but the police commissioner did not confirm that.
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.