The mother of an Alabama teenager who went missing in Aruba said Sunday she is leaving Dutch Caribbean island after having “exhausted all my avenues” there following the release of all three suspects in the disappearance.
Beth Holloway Twitty arrived in Aruba hours after her daughter, Natalee, vanished May 30 and has been an almost permanent fixture since, focusing intense U.S. media attention on the case through frequent television appearances and interviews and pressuring local authorities to act.
“I will never allow my daughter’s voice to be silenced, but I have exhausted all my avenues in Aruba,” Holloway Twitty told The Associated Press before leaving on a flight home to Mountain Brook, Ala.
Holloway Twitty said she will visit “frequently” and promised to fight for justice from her home in the United States.
Her planned departure came a day after all three suspects in Holloway’s disappearance were released from jail, dealing a serious setback to the prosecution and the biggest blow yet to the teen’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 available to police for questioning.
Holloway’s family has insisted that the young men know what happened to the 18-year-old Alabama honors student, who vanished on the last day of a vacation to celebrate her high school graduation.
Holloway was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers. Her family has often been critical of Aruban authorities’ handling of the case, especially for taking 10 days to arrest the three young men and two weeks to search van der Sloot’s home.
‘Taking it easy, day by day’
Van der Sloot and the brothers were arrested June 9 on suspicion of involvement in Holloway’s disappearance. All three have denied any connection to the disappearance.
As a Dutch citizen, van der Sloot can leave Aruba but must remain in Dutch territory as a condition of his release. The Surinamese brothers have different visa requirements and must stay in Aruba.
Van der Sloot will soon be going to college in Holland, according to his lawyer, but his mother said Sunday he would not leave immediately.
“We’re looking at the options. We’re taking it easy, day by day,” Anita van der Sloot said in a telephone interview.
Police insist the investigation into Holloway’s widely publicized disappearance will continue, but legal observers in Aruba say the releases indicate the government has no case.
Police and thousands of volunteers have scoured Aruba without finding a sign of Holloway, often chasing apparently false leads.