Family of Missing Teen Hires Private Investigator

Private Investigator T.J. Ward
Private Investigator T.J. Ward

It's been more than eight weeks since Natalee Holloway disappeared on the island of Aruba. And there are still more questions than answers in the case.

Now, Natalee's mother is taking matters into her own hands. WSFA 12 News has learned that Beth Holloway-Twitty has hired a private investigator.

From day one, Holloway-Twitty has been scouring the island in search of her daughter. Her family has passed out flyers and more recently, increased the reward being offered.

"We ask that anyone with any helpful information call the tip line," said Natalee's mother during a news conference in Aruba over the weekend.

But in recent weeks, there has been no new information and Aruban authorities still haven't charged the lone suspect in the case, 17-year-old Joren van der Sloot.

So the Holloway family is turning T.J. Ward, a private investigator.

"We know there's somebody out here on this island that knows some good direct information that may be used that we could give law enforcement and proceed with our case," said Ward.

He and the Holloways continue to focus on van der Sloot. They indicated that he holds the key to cracking the case.

"We believe one of the parties still being held in jail is involved directly with this case," Ward said.

Meanwhile, Aruba's prime minister has sent a letter to his attorney general, asking that investigators allow the FBI to assist in the investigation.

In another development, a group of Aruban police officers is in Philadelphia this week to learn from U.S. police. They're riding along with Philadelphia police and touring the department's forensic lab.

When asked about the Holloway case, Aruba's police chief said only that his department needs more time to investigate.

18-year-old Holloway vanished May 30th while on a graduation trip to Aruba. 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot remains in custody in connection with the case, but he has not been charged.