The family of a U.S. teenager who vanished on a school trip to Aruba urged Thursday that three law enforcement officials be removed from the case, saying they ignored promising leads and did not take the investigation seriously in the crucial early stages.
Natalee Holloway’s family made the charges in a letter released as the missing teen’s mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, left the Dutch Caribbean island after she said prosecutors and the police chief refused to meet with her.
The honors student was last seen early on May 30 leaving a bar with Dutch national Joran van der Sloot and Surinamese brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. They were arrested on June 9 but released after a court ruled there was not enough evidence to hold them.
Twitty, who arrived Tuesday, told reporters she wanted to meet with prosecutors and police to discuss a taped interview in which Deepak Kalpoe allegedly says all three had sex with Holloway, who would have turned 19 last month.
Twitty said she was “disheartened” with the response of Police Chief Gerald Dompig, Chief Prosecutor Karin Jansen and Detective Dennis Jacobs to the disappearance of her daughter.
“They have placed barriers to the advancement of the investigation,” Twitty said. “They should be replaced.”
Police chief defends inquiry's process
The police chief said he and the chief prosecutor were willing to meet with Twitty but first wanted her to clarify statements she made about an investigator whose name he did not disclose. Dompig declined to discuss her criticisms.
In the letter, Dave Holloway, the missing teen’s father, said two days after her disappearance, he was told by Jacobs there was no point searching for the girl.
He says the detective told him “She probably just got drunk or fell in love and ran off with someone for a few days,” according to the letter.
The father also said that detectives waited too long to question van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers after it became clear they were the last seen in public with the missing teen.