New Evidence Eyed In Natalee Holloway Case

Gov. Charlie Crist makes a point in a debate Oct. 6, 2010, in Orlando, Florida.
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Aruban prosecutors said Thursday that authorities are investigating new evidence in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway provided by a Dutch crime reporter.

Information from reporter Peter R. de Vries may help resolve what happened to the American, who vanished during a May 2005 school vacation to the Dutch Caribbean island, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The statement did not specify the new evidence.

"This information may help considerably in the solution of the mystery of Natalee's disappearance," the prosecutor's office said.

De Vries had a testy exchange two weeks ago during a televised interview in the Netherlands with Joran van der Sloot, a Dutch man who was a suspect in the case.

Van der Sloot, who was among the last people seen with the missing American, threw wine at De Vries after the reporter challenged his credibility.

Joseph Tacopina, a U.S. attorney for Van der Sloot, said it was irresponsible for prosecutors to make the announcement without describing their evidence.

"They act quite frankly like clowns," he said. "If they have a resolution, they should bring a case and stop talking about cryptic information."

Prosecutors dismissed their case against Van der Sloot and two other suspects in December, saying that they lacked evidence to charge them or even to prove a crime was committed. Authorities have said the case could be reopened if new evidence surfaces.

In the statement, prosecutors said the information from de Vries "may shed a new light on the mode" in which the American died and the "method by which her body disappeared."

Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., disappeared the final night of her high school graduation trip to Aruba. She was 18 at the time.

She was last seen in public leaving a bar with Van der Sloot and two Surinamese brothers - Deepak and Satish Kalpoe hours before she was due to board a flight home. The three men have been repeatedly detained as suspects but denied any wrongdoing.