New Arrest in Natalee Holloway Mystery

MAY 22, 2006 - Posted at 7:34 a.m. CST

ARUBA - Dutch police have detained another man on suspicion of helping to kidnap and kill Natalee Holloway in Aruba last year.

"My client is indicted of murder and manslaughter, and it is a serious indictment, of course," said Gerard Spong, the suspect's lawyer.  "He was a witness in June last year after Natalee disappeared."

The suspect's identity has not been released, but his lawyer said he would fight extradition to Aruba.  Spong said his client did not know Holloway.

"He has never met her.  He claims that he has never seen her and he claims that he is completely innocent," Spong said.

The suspect worked in a casino on the island of Aruba at the time of Holloway's disappearance.  The man said that he did not know Joran van der Sloot, a Dutch teenager who was the last person known to see Holloway alive.  Van der Sloot says he kissed Holloway on a beach and then left her there alone.

"Joran knew this individual casually both from the tennis club, and from seeing him out and about at casinos and certainly hasn't spoken to him in the last six months or so," said Joseph Tacopina, van der Sloot's lawyer.

Holloway's mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, said the family was trying not to become overly hopeful that that was the break they had been waiting for.

"With each arrest and question and release, we have been totally just been devastated numerous times during the investigation, so we really have to just stop, take a minute and see what happens," Twitty said.

Since Holloway disappeared during her high school graduation trip almost a year ago, authorities have arrested eight suspects in connection with her disappearance.  All have been released because of a lack of evidence.

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