Holloway investigation closed

Tuesday, December 18th 2007, 6:53 pm
By: News 9

By Manuel Gallegus, CBS News

Authorities in Aruba have officially closed their investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. The 18-year-old vanished two years ago while vacationing with friends on the island.

Prosecutors in Aruba told Joran Van Der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, they are no longer suspects in Holloway's disappearance.  Police say they don't have evidence to charge anyone.

The three men were seen leaving the Carlos and Charlie's bar with Holloway the night she disappeared in May, 2005.  Holloway was in Aruba celebrating her graduation from her Alabama high school when she vanished.  Searchers combed Aruba's beaches for months, but never found any trace of the teenager.

In one last effort, Aruban police re-arrested the three suspects last month, citing new incriminating evidence. But prosecutors released them all again this month, saying the men did not provide any new information under interrogation.

Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, said she was terribly disappointed, and perplexed that the case was closed on the day a new deep water search was set to begin.

In a statement, prosecutors and police insisted they've gone the extra mile, exhausting all of their powers to solve the mystery. They say they still believe the men are involved in Holloway's disappearance, but they cannot prove they committed a crime because Holloway's body was never recovered.

But if new substantial evidence turns up, prosecutors say they can still reopen the case.

Holloway's family says although there is a possibility of the case being reopened, they feel like the rug has been pulled out from under them all over again.