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Holloway mother ‘crushed’ by case dismissal

The mother of Natalee Holloway, the student who went missing in Aruba more than a year ago, said she was “crushed” by a judge's dismissal of a lawsuit against the Dutch teen last seen with Natalee.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The mother of a Mountain Brook teen who disappeared more than a year ago in Aruba said she was “crushed” by the dismissal of the lawsuit filed against the Dutch teen last seen with her daughter.

“That was our only and last shot for justice,” said Beth Twitty, mother of Natalee Holloway.

Twitty said she knew the case filed in Manhattan against Joran van der Sloot was a long shot, but the family took a chance.

“Until you hear that door closed you hang onto hope,” Twitty said.

The case claimed van der Sloot, who was 18 at the time, was responsible for Holloway’s disappearance and sought unspecified damages. Van der Sloot, who has maintained his innocence, was last seen leaving a bar with Holloway, then 18, before she vanished May 30, 2005. He and two friends were arrested later on suspicion of involvement in her disappearance, but were released.

Twitty said she will be speaking with the attorney who filed the lawsuit but said this case was seen as the best legal option.

Van der Sloot’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, told The Associated Press that the college student “was elated” by the judge’s decision.

“We were never afraid of the facts in this case,” Tacopina said Thursday when the case was dismissed. “He did nothing to this girl. ... He’s trying to get on with his life.”

The lawsuit, filed in Manhattan, was dismissed by state Judge Barbara Kapnick, who said it shouldn’t have been filed there. She rejected an argument that if the case were filed in Aruba, it would prompt a media frenzy that could interfere with the investigation.

Kapnick said taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for a case “when their interest in the suit ... is so ephemeral.”