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Natalee Holloway Update: Tests May Soon Tell if Bone Found on Aruba Beach is Human

Natalee Holloway, Alabama high school student who disappeared while on a graduation trip in Oranjestad, Aruba, 2005/6/6.
AP Photo
Natalee Holloway Update: Tests May Soon Tell if Bone Found on Aruba Beach is Human
Natalee Holloway (AP)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CBS/WIAT/AP) Investigators could know as early as today whether the bone found on a beach in Aruba is the key to solving the five-year mystery of what happened to Natalee Holloway, according to a report.

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According to CNN, Dutch forensic experts are testing the piece of bone to determine whether the bone is human before comparing its DNA to that of Holloway.

The Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is reporting that what appears to be a human jawbone was found by tourists on the beach near the Phoenix Hotel. The site where the bone was found is near one of several locations mentioned by Joran van der Sloot in a series of interviews and "confessions" he later rescinded, reports CBS affiliate WIAT.

De Telegraaf says Aruban Chief Prosecutor Peter Blanken is in the Netherlands but had no comment on the case. Although the age of the bone has not been determined there are reportedly intact teeth on the bone, reports CNN.

Holloway, then 18, disappeared in 2005 while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba. Her remains have never been found, despite extensive police searches. If the bone turns out to be from Holloway, it would be the first concrete evidence of her death.

Netherlands Forensic Institute spokeswoman Inge Oevering said prosecutors in Aruba will announce the results of the tests. She could not say how long the tests would take.

Dutchman Joran van der Sloot is the last person seen with Holloway and is considered the prime suspect in her disappearance. Van der Sloot is in jail in Lima, Peru charged with killing Stephany Flores, a woman murdered five years to the day after Holloway's disappearance.

Van der Sloot has told several people he was involved in Holloway's disappearance, only to later retract his confessions. He has also admitted in interviews that he is a pathological liar.

Aruban prosecutors have said they lack evidence to charge van der Sloot in Holloway's death.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF JORAN VAN DER SLOOT ON CRIMESIDER