June 11, 2005 -- Posted at 9:07 AM CDT
ORANJESTAD, Aruba - Police investigating the disappearance of an Alabama teenager in Aruba said late Friday that one of three young men in custody has admitted "something bad happened" to her during her island visit.
Deputy Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig told The Associated Press that the man was leading police late Friday to the scene. He refused to identify which young man had made the statement.
Natalee Holloway, 18, disappeared May 30 while on a five-day trip to the Caribbean island with 124 classmates and seven chaperones celebrating their graduation from Mountain Brook High School, near Birmingham. Police found her U.S. passport and packed bags in her hotel room.
Ms. Holloway has ties to Region 8, her father is originally from Bono, a graduate of Jonesboro Westside High School, while her aunt, uncle, and grandmother still live in the area.
Three men — two brothers from Suriname and a 17-year-old Dutch student — were arrested Thursday. Two former hotel security guards were also being held in the case. None of the five has been charged.
A lawyer for the two Suriname suspects — Satish Kalpoe, 18, and his brother Deepak, 21 — said they told police they took Holloway to Arashi Beach, on the northern tip of the island, in the early hours of May 30.
According to their police statement, they didn't get out of the car, defense lawyer David Kock said. Instead, Holloway and the Dutch teen, an honors student at Aruba International School, "were in the back seat kissing."
They further told police that they dropped Holloway at her Holiday Inn Hotel around 2 a.m., and last saw her being approached by a man in a black security guard uniform before they drove off, Kock said.
The brothers told police the young woman was drunk and refused to get out of the car when asked to, said Noraina Pietersz, who is representing 30-year-old Nick John, one of the two former security guards.
The three young men said Holloway stumbled in the parking lot of the hotel but refused help from her Dutch escort, Kock said.
Kock said the brothers told police they last saw Holloway being approached by a man in a security guard uniform before they drove off.
Holiday Inn employees say security cameras did not record Holloway's return. In addition, a Holiday Inn guard who worked the overnight shift the day the young woman disappeared said he did not see her, said Pietersz, who said she reviewed the guard's testimony to police.
In Mountain Brook, Holloway's aunt, Marcia Twitty, expressed frustration that Aruban authorities initially released the three young men last week after questioning them.
"These are the last three guys to be with her, and we just feel like they know something," said Twitty, who is serving as the spokeswoman.
The criticism came after Holloway's stepfather, George "Jug" Twitty, told the AP the young men told him that Holloway had been flirting with the Dutch student. Police Superintendent Jan van der Straaten said at a news conference that Holloway and the Dutch teen had met two days earlier at the casino of her hotel.
John and Abraham Jones, 28, a fellow former security guard, have been detained since Sunday.