Search for Holloway’s remains called off

Aruban
authorities have called off a dive team’s search for the remains of Natalee
Holloway after two days of searching the waters off Aruba proved fruitless, a
spokeswoman for the Aruban prosecutor said.

The
search was initiated after a Pennsylvania couple vacationing on the island told
authorities that a picture they took last year while snorkelling looked like a
skeleton.

Aruban
police contacted the island’s tour companies and used a dive team to search the
island’s snorkelling locations, said Ann Angela, spokeswoman for the Aruba prosecutor’s office.

After
searching Sunday and Wednesday, police “feel pretty confident” they
scoured all areas typically used by snorkelers and found nothing that resembled
the image depicted in the photograph, she said. “It’s a dead end,”
she added. “We’re assuming the photo is of coral.”

Though
no more dives are planned to follow up on the couple’s tip, Angela said the prosecutor’s
office will continue “to follow every lead” in an attempt to
determine what happened to Holloway, an 18-year-old Alabama high
school student who was on a graduation trip in May 2005 when she was last
reported seen leaving a bar in the capital of Oranjestad.

The
main suspect in the case, Joran van der Sloot, remains free.

Van
der Sloot has made alleged confession-like statements in TV interviews, one of
which involves dumping Holloway’s body in the ocean after she suffered a
seizure on the beach. Aruban judges have ruled there isn’t enough evidence to
arrest him.

Holloway’s
mother, Beth Twitty, has declined to comment on the photo.

The
couple, who took the photo to police and the FBI, said it was taken near an old
shipwreck.

The
FBI said it is investigating.

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