It’s been 12 years since Natalee Holloway’s disappearance, and we’re still searching for answers.
In 2005, 18-year-old Natalee Holloway went on a class trip to Aruba. When the fun was over and the students were supposed to board their plane home, Natalee never showed. She’s been missing ever since.
To this day, the primary suspect remains Joran van der Sloot (pictured at center below), a then-17-year-old local boy whom she was last seen leaving a bar with on the island. However, with no remains ever found, there’s never been enough evidence to charge him or anyone else with her murder.
But now, Dave Holloway, Natalee’s father, is following a new lead—the man who allegedly helped Joran helped get rid of the body—and it may be his most promising yet.
Here are four crucial things to know about the new lead's connection to primary suspect Joran van der Sloot and his account of what happened the night Natalee vanished.
1. He was a new friend of Joran van der Sloot’s.
In a new docuseries, "The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway," Gabriel, a friend of the new lead, came forward to the Holloway family after learning about his friendship with Van der Sloot and his claim he had something to do with Natalee’s disappearance.
According to Gabriel’s report in the series, the lead moved to Aruba in 2010 and became fast friends with Van der Sloot, partying and gambling together often.
2. He did an interview with Nancy Grace on live TV after Van der Sloot was arrested for murdering Stephany Flores.
Following Van der Sloot’s arrest for the murder of Stephany Flores, which he is currently serving a 28-year sentence in Peruvian jail for, Van der Sloot's friend agreed to do a live TV interview with Nancy Grace.
In the bizarre interview, he says Van der Sloot “obviously murdered" Flores and that she “provoked” him. “Hopefully he gets out in 10 years or less,” he shared.
3. Joran van der Sloot allegedly paid him $1,500 to get rid of the body.
The new lead in Oxygen's "Disappearance of Natalee Holloway" was not with Van der Sloot the night Natalee disappeared, but according to Gabriel's account on the series, Van der Sloot reached out to the lead, asking him to help get rid of Holloway’s dead body.
According to Gabriel's account in the first episode of "The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway," Joran offered to give him $1,500 to help dig up the body in Aruba’s national forest and dispose of the remains.
4. He believes Natalee overdosed.
Gabriel also alleges in the first episode of the docuseries that the new lead revealed how Natalee really died. According to the new account, Van der Sloot had given her a drink that may have contained drugs before taking her to the beach. While on the beach, Natalee allegedly began foaming at the mouth and choking on her own vomit. When she died, Van der Sloot called his dad to ask for help disposing of the body.
To learn more about the newest lead in the Natalee Holloway case, stream the full episode of “The Disappearance Of Natalee Holloway."