Have you seen the story of the Alabama girl that went missing from her high school trip to Aruba?
Some witnesses say she got in a car with local boys about 1am , then never showed the next day for the airport. Her family says it is very much out of the norm for her to do that and I believe them. They are not saying to much (that I can find) about when she and her friends may have met these boys before, if at all. Something just doesn't sound right about this.
I'm watching this story closely because; 1) I have kids her age, and 2) We are thinking of doing a family cruise to that region next year. Is this an area that has safety issues? Not that I would let my kids go off alone in a foreign area, but still I wonder.
My heart and prayers go out to this family. I can't even imagine the pain they must be going through. I hope she returns safe!
What do you think about this? Anybody hear more? Sound fishy? Bad area? Bad choice? I don't know, I just think there is more to this story.
Read the story on GMA, the whole Island is looking for her. They are amazed by the help and support they are getting. I don't know Cherly C, I have a bad feeling about this. One of those stories I can't get out of my head.
Location: Near Liz's favourite home, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, U.K.
Re: Re: Missing girl from Aruba
Taken from Fox News . To answer your question re the area, it would seem that it is practically crime free!
U.S. Teen Missing for Fourth Day in Aruba
Friday, June 03, 2005
Click image to enlarge
•Ala. Teen Disappears During Trip to Aruba
ORANJESTAD, Aruba — Natalee Holloway (search) disappeared on the last night of a trip to Aruba (search) to celebrate her graduation from high school. Four days later, the Alabama teenager is still unaccounted for, despite an extensive search of the Caribbean island.
"Honestly, at the beginning, we were hopeful the girl would come back," said police Superintendent Jan van der Straaten. "Today, we are more and more thinking about the possibility of a crime."
On the island remarkable for its absence of violent crime, hundreds of residents and tourists posted flyers to help the hunt. FBI agents helped the Dutch military and Aruba police scour outlying scrubland with helicopters and all-terrain vehicles but found no trace of the 18-year-old.
Aruba radio and television stations broadcast a reward offer from Holloway's family, though they did not specify an amount. The family promised to reward anyone who brings her safely to a police station or hospital.
"Everybody has been quite supportive," the teenager's mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, told The Associated Press. "I am not leaving. I am going to have Natalee with me."
Holloway came to Aruba for a five-day excursion with 124 seniors and 40 chaperons from Mountain Brook High School (search), near Birmingham, Ala. She was last seen around 2 a.m. Monday, Attorney-General Caren Janssen said Thursday.
Police discount the possibility she left the island, because they found her passport in her hotel room, van der Straaten said.
Hopes were lifted briefly just before midnight Thursday when a news photographer said he had seen Holloway on the west side of the island. Police rushed to the scene but found an island girl who fit the description but had brown hair, not Holloway's long blond tresses.
Dressed in the same blue and green striped low-cut blouse and jean miniskirt that she wore at the beach earlier in the day, Holloway spent Sunday evening partying at Carlos 'N Charlie's, a popular restaurant and dance spot where tourists and locals meet in the capital, Oranjestad.
She left 10 minutes before closing at 1 a.m., said the restaurant's master of ceremonies Jose Hernandez, 38. "Nothing was out of the ordinary."
Friends saw her getting into a vehicle outside the nightclub. She did not show up to catch her flight Monday. Her stepmother, Robin Holloway, said Natalee was last seen with a local resident who claimed to be a foreign exchange student.
Wow. What pain for this family. I hope they find out something, whether good news or bad. It's the not knowing that is hard. My question would be, why did her friends let her go with strange boys? Why didn't they try and stop/grab her if they saw getting into the vehicle? Hopefully, alcohol didn't impair their and her judgement. I, as everyone else, can only pray that they find this young lady. My heart breaks for her family.
As a father who raised three daughters this kind of story was always my nightmare.
Aruba, unlike many other islands , generally has a very safe reputation. The government and those in the hospitality industry take this stuff VERY seriously.
I'm sorry folks, here is where many of you might get mad at me. At highscholl age I never would have sent my kids off to travel alone or in a group like this to any foriegn land (or to spring break). It was hard enough to get me to agree to let them out the door
unless there was a destination in mind and I knew the where, when and who.
A question of judgement??? What kind of judgement puts a teenage girl in a foriegn country getting into a car with locals at 1 AM ??
I pray for the safe return of this girl to her family. We cannot protect our children at all times , but we can exercise good judgement under certain circumstances. I don't think good judgement was excercised here by the parents or the child.
I live in Birmingham which is this girl's hometown... There were approximately 140 students on the trip with only 20 chaperones. It appears that they only got together once a day at noon which in hindsight doesn't appear to be adequate supervision. There is some suspicion that the group early on met a nice young man who hung around with them for their entire trip and it is speculation that he or some associates abducted her and plan to get her hooked on drugs and become a sex slave. It has also been reported ( but not confirmed ) that four young people have previously disappeared from Aruba this year but obviously the local authorities in Aruba will not discuss this. This young lady lives in one of the most affluent and high income areas in the country ( suburb of Birmingham ) and it is rumoured that some of the financial heavy hitters in this area have flown to Aruba and are trying to buy her back. She is a very beautiful young lady who was going to enter college this fall on an academic scholarship. Very tragic story...
I know I am now a growing group of parents that are just saying "NO" to high school senior trips. I do have a responsible kid that I do trust too, but these trips seem to bring out the worst in others and ANY kid.
I told him we will go on a family cruise and he can bring a friend.
High school is scary enough!!!
(for the record: I will not be buying him drinks on board in international waters like that other poster is, but lets not go there again)
Papabill--I agree with you 100%. If my 18 year old daughter was going on a trip like this, you bet your a** I would be going with her.
Tide Pride--where did you hear this information from? I know that stories grow as they spread. Is this information something that is just around your town. (I am not questioning the reliablity just curious and sad about this incident) :o(
While many areas and islands in the Caribbean are very safe, no place is 100% safe. I feel very badly for this girl as I have the feeling that she was most likely raped and killed. Just a terrible thing for anyone to be subjected to and for parents and friends having to live with knowing her terror and pain before her death. She really is a pretty young lady and that may have been one of the reasons along with her being pretty drunk just prior to her disappearance. One must always be careful and should never go anywhere with someone you don't know well and should never allow yourself to drink that much that you are not in control of all you facilities. Very sad for her and family.
Just another reason why I will stick to my guns and not let my daughter or sons go away senior year unless my husband or I get to come and chaperone. Where were here friends? Why did they let her leave w/ strangers? Just another reason why I probably wont let my daughter go on her French club trip next summer . Madame gives them free reign from 12p - 5p every day - IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY. Are they crazy?
nolou525, as you can imagine this is a huge story here in Birmingham. It is in the newspapers and on local tv and local talk radio. I heard them interview on talk radio this morning a teacher who works with the girl's mother ( also a teacher ). I have friends that live in this surburban community and some of the information is " word on the street " in that community.
It is a fact that some extremely wealthy people have flown to Aruba to try and " buy " her back assuming she is still alive.
TidePride---thanks for filling me in on the information. Like I said above, didn't doubt you or your sources, just trying to understand this horrific disappearance. Please keep us posted if you should hear anything else, good or bad. My prayers are with this girl and her family. Hope this ends up happy but we all know from past incidents how the story usually ends. Thanks again for the updates.
Forgive me for generalizing here, but many 18 and 19 year olds do not have good judgement. Add a foreign country, new things, the excitement of it all, and maybe some beer, and the judgement falters even more.
I've been to almost every Caribbean island and most are safe - just like any city is safe, which means there is danger and temptation everywhere. If she did, in fact, get into a car with boys she didn't know, one wonders if she would have done that at home.....I don't think so. If she was forced into the car, her friends and chaperones weren't doing their jobs.
Many of our young people are not too "street smart" and can get in trouble before they know it.
I, too, have a feeling that the outcome of this is not going to be good. My heart breaks for the girl, her family and friends and I pray that I am wrong and she is returned safely.
The latest I heard was an hour or so ago on t.v. Seems that the police have 3 " people of interest " they are talking to. One is Dutch and the other two are locals.
Seems that the young lady left Carlos and Charlies around 1 a.m. with the three.
I have to agree 100 % with what Papa Bill said. It sure seems that there was a lack of good judgement involved here. I realize that 18 isn't old but it's not exactly a small child either. I would expect someone 18 to know better than to get in a car with 3 people that she hardly knew, or maybe didn't know at all.
More and more young folks are going to the Caribbean every year and they really need
to know ( especially young ladies ) that too much sun, fun, rum and Reggae can get them into situations they don't need to be in.
Aruba isn't a very big island and since this girl has been missing 4 days now, I really
wonder if she will be found at all. I sure hope for the best for her and her family and hope too, that other young folks ( especially young ladies ) and their parents learn something from this.
I agree with all TidePride has to say. It is in all the papers & on talk shows here.
I also agree with Papa, my child was not allowed out the door without me knowing where & who with??? I was also good at arriving at the scene to just "check & see" if my children were there. "They knew I might show up." Because I told them I would randomly check.
I have taken many cruise that had stops in Aruba and a few of those were with my children, one being a beautiful teenager. I love Aruba and we never had any problems whatso ever. Though we do venture off the boat as a group of five so maybe we are a little intimidating than others. She is never allowed off ship without her father or myself. But I am one of those Mom's that questions everything and everyone. She doesn't like it but I can't be that bad, she is still here after 18 years.
My thoughts and Prayers are with the family today. I sure hope they find her soon and alive.
I haven't seen the latest news,either, but it's almost like of all the others in the group these "people of interest" poised themselves for the most vulnerable-she was like the "lost sheep" that strayed from the others. Sometimes there is another accomplice inside that diverts the attention of the others while the action is taking place outside.
My son took his then girlfriend to Cancun a couple of years ago, and he's over 30, and we kept telling HIM not to get too far away from the hotel or main compound where they were staying.The same goes for those of us who go to a "resort" on these islands. They are safe, but no guarantees outside the perimeter.
Most of these islands are pretty safe, since tourism is their major industry. The caveat is that they are safe within the boundaries set by the city, cruise lines, and self-assessment. I'm a chicken so would not wonder outside a designated shopping area, excursion site etc, and trust no one I don't really know.
Unfortunately, this gal either got lured outside, or a false sense of trust was set up with one of the men by his actions through the week. These vacation "attractions" can build rather quickly in these type of exotic, tropical atmospheres.
The picture of her is beautiful. She was headed for college. But outside a strict structure, she either was "gotten" or maybe let herself be "got".
I'm really sorry for her parents-and her- because being abducted on foreign soil does not bring the best results. Let's hope she's just a "runaway" and comes back. Wishful thinking? Lynne
Finally one news channel called her a young woman and not a "teenage girl". There are 18 year olds serving in Iraque right now. I went anyplace I wanted when I was 18 and darn near went somewhere I really didnt want to go sponsored by the dept of defense. I am thinking that sending a bunch of debutante type young women to a carribean island was probably not very good judgement on someones part. Aruba looked really safe relatively speaking the times I have been there jeez at least they didnt take these young women to Jamaica. Even the fact that they had "chaperones" for people of adult age tells me these young women might not have been that "street smart" Carlos an Charlies is a notorious party bar and lots 18 to 68 drink too much there and do strange things, but you would think that a young woman wouldn't get in a car with three men she didnt know or vaguely knew. I am hoping that she is doing some kind of "fling" thing but after 5 days I fear the worse. Sheltered rich and upper middle class kids (I think) might have some problems due to lack of experience and not really living in a real world from their upbringing. I hope she gets home safely and has only learned a lesson, but it doesn't look like a good prognosis right now. John NM
Here is a piece from the articel on Yahoo News about the missing girl. It is a quote she put in her yearbook. Interesting quote.
"In the Mountain Brook yearbook, Holloway's senior quote came from the old Lynyrd Skynyrd song "Freebird." It says: "If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? For I must be traveling on now, there's too many places I haven't seen."
Stright "A" student, Honor Roll, full Scholorship and going to become a Dr was her goal. What a tragic waste. I hope that she turns up but I feel that there is little hope of that. I do hope that at least they find her remains and are able to catch who did this to her.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Missing girl from Aruba
For someone so smart, to seperate herself from her friends and go with the relative strangers is really dumb. They say she was not a drinker, but how many "non-drinking kids" do differently when away from home for the first time? I hope and pray she is found alive and safe. These upper middle class kids are so sheltered and think there is nothing bad that can happen to them. Book smarts is great, but street smarts are essential to surviving out in the real world...especially in a foreign country.
My parents let me go with 8 other girls and one of their mothers for a week to the Bahamas in 1979. We were lucky that our chaperone really did care and made us check in 5 times a day! And she did wait up for all of us to get back every night. We had to have all meals together (three times a day) plus early evening and late evening check ins - she didn't mind waiting up for us ( I now wonder what she was able to stay up that long for a week, but that is another story................)
Post Edited (06-05-05 02:24)
Carnival Breeze with Ray Band Aerogirl 5/4/14!
This morning I read that although she's been a very serious student, she also has a "child-like" quality to her. Very naive. I wonder if she was allowed to date, or was obligated to be an A student. Some parents push their children academically. All it took was a little extra attention from a good looking guy, and maybe some tender words to get her hooked. The thought of them going to a beach first before going back to the hotel is unnerving. Also, according to someone, maybe her father, she wasn't seen on the security camera when they dropped her off at the hotel.
It's sounding worse every moment. I also saw the "Freebird" words, and wondered....
That was the "official song" for my elder son's high school graduation class. It was played after they got their diplomas. It suggests that these "kids" have this need to escape for awhile and investigate other options. Aruba certainly is a place to escape to and see a sort of paradise.
I hope the resolution comes quickly for all concerned--including the searchers.