ALABAMA (WRBL) – It has now been 17 years since an Alabama teenager vanished while traveling abroad on a graduation trip. The day was May 30, 2005.
Natalee Holloway was 18-years-old when she disappeared in Aruba, while celebrating her graduation from Mountain Brook High School in Birmingham.
The teenager’s disappearance sparked a massive search, including hundreds of volunteers, FBI agents, and the Dutch military, when she failed to show up for her flight home. That search for the missing Holloway would turn up empty, as would the many that would follow in the months and years to come.
Holloway had last been seen on the night of May 29, 2005, at a club, Carlos’n Charlie’s, in Oranjestad, Aruba. When Holloway was last seen, she left the club in a car with a group of young men, identified as Joran Van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. Van der Sloot would develop as a primary suspect in Holloway’s case.
In the years since Holloway’s disappearance, the teen’s case has ignited international headlines, with numerous news specials dedicated to her disappearance being broadcast throughout the years.
But even with the massive amount of news coverage and the thousands of hours put in by investigators, Holloway’s case has never been solved and her family is still waiting for answers.
In 2012, Van der Sloot, was sentenced in Peru to serve 28 years in prison for the May 2010 killing of another young woman, 21-year-old Stephany Flores. Flores was killed on May 30, 2010, five years to the day of Holloway’s disappearance.
The body of Natalee Ann Holloway has never been found. She was declared legally dead in 2012. Today, Holloway would be 35-years-old, with her 36th birthday being later this year in October.