Dutch Police Receive Tips about Holloway Case

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands --  Dutch police said Wednesday they have received 60 tips in the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway after a television program appealing for help from the public aired throughout the kingdom of the Netherlands.

Tips came from both the Netherlands and Aruba, the semi-autonomous Dutch Caribbean island where Holloway disappeared in May 2005, said Dutch police spokeswoman Mieke Kort.

Kort said she could not discuss the content or quality of the information, but added "more tips are still coming."

The television program was aired in the Netherlands Tuesday night and rebroadcast later in Aruba.

Holloway, 18, of Mountain Brook, Ala., was on a high school graduation trip when she was last seen on May 30 leaving a bar with three young men, including Dutch youth Joran van der Sloot. The three were arrested in June and later released without charge after a court ruled there was insufficient evidence to hold them.

Tuesday's program showed scenes from the island, including the spot where Van der Sloot has said he left Holloway alone after the pair kissed and made out without having sex.

Aruban Police Commissioner Adolf Richardson said his force was looking for more information about a man with glasses who is suspected of harassing another woman on the same beach where Holloway went missing nine days earlier.

"We have no concrete proof that this incident has any relation to Natalee's disappearance, but we cannot completely disregard this either," Richardson said.

The program also focused attention on the car driven by Van der Sloot's friends, saying that information about where the gray Honda Civic was seen the night she disappeared — or not seen — would be relevant to their investigation.

The Dutch program also highlighted two anonymous tips police wanted more information on, including a woman who said she saw three or four boys with a shovel on the island's north side on May 30; and a man who called several months later and said he knew Holloway had been buried.

While Aruban authorities are keeping all options open, they believe Holloway is most likely dead and buried somewhere on the island. Prevailing currents would have likely washed her body ashore if she drowned or her body was thrown into the sea, an agent on the program said.

Kort said about 30 percent of cases brought to the popular television program had been resolved and "we hope we can get a golden tip out of this."

Aruban authorities say the investigation into Halloway's disappearance has so far produced a number of false leads.

In January, Aruban police fruitlessly searched sand dunes on the northwest coast of the island with more than 50 officers. Later, they said Holloway may have died from alcohol and drugs complications.

Dutch Marines and FBI officials have also been involved in the search for Holloway, but no one has been charged in her disappearance.

Kort said people used a toll-free, multilingual hot line number to convey their tips.

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