Dave Holloway, Natalee Halloway's father, made an appearance on the "Today" show this morning (Wednesday, August 16) to announce that human remains have been found.
The Alabama teen's disapearance remains one of the most publicized missing person cases to date. Dave said that he and T.J. Ward, the family’s longtime private investigator have been working undercover with an informant for the last 18 months.
The informant's friend was friends with suspect Joran van der Sloot, and new information led them to a home where human remains were dug up. The remains were tested, and they tested positive for human remains. It's not yet clear who the remains belong to, however.
On May 30, 2005, 18-year-old Natalee Holloway vanished on the island of Aruba while on a high school graduation trip. The 18-year-old honor student and dancer had finished high school just days before the trip.
“Natalee was an original,” one of her classmates and friends later recalled. “She was obsessed with 'The Wizard of Oz.' She had more 'Wizard of Oz' stuff in her room than you'd ever seen! She was in love with Lynyrd Skynyrd. And she had a Sheltie named Macy. She loved that dog so much; she would color its hair with highlighters and paint its toenails.”
Natalee was also a brilliant student who'd been accepted to the University of Alabama on a full scholarship to study pre-med. She was supposed to fly home to Mountain Brook, Alabama on May 30, but she never showed up for her flight.
Her case resulted in an international media frenzy. Her father, Dave Holloway has never stopped searching for answers.
In the new Oxygen crime series, “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,” premiering Saturday, August 19 at 7pm ET/PT, viewers will follow Dave and T.J. Ward, the family’s longtime private investigator, in the latest and, perhaps, final chapter of the decade-long pursuit to uncover what really happened to Natalee. The series reveals what could be the most credible lead to date: a first-hand account from a man who claims to know the whereabouts of his daughter’s remains.
There has been several arrests and confessions made in the past, but nobody has ever been charged in connection with Natalee's disappearance.
Joran van der Sloot, the primary suspect in the case, stated in a 2007 video made after Aruban prosecutors announced that the case be closed, that Holloway died the morning she went missing and that his friend got rid of her body. He later denied that confession, and instead claimed that he sold Holloway into slavery. In an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Van der Sloot also said he extorted money from Holloway's parents for the location of their daughter's body, which was never revealed. He claimed he did it because her parents "have been making [his] life tough for five years."
On May 30, 2010, five years to the day of Natalee's disappearance, 21-year-old business student Stephany Flores was murdered in Joran van der Sloot's hotel in Peru. He was arrested in Chile and brought back to Peru, where he was charged with Flores’ murder. He was sentenced to 28 years in prison.
[Image: NBC News]