Lawyer: Man detained in Aruba disappearance


AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) – Dutch police have detained a man on suspicion of participating in the kidnapping and killing of Natalee Holloway last year in Aruba, the suspect’s lawyer said Sunday.

Gerard Spong said his client, whose name was not disclosed, was accused of “assisting in the murder, heavy battery and kidnapping” of Holloway. He also told Dutch national TV broadcaster NOS that the suspect was a croupier at the casino in the hotel where Holloway was staying.

The Mountain Brook, Ala., woman was 18 when she went missing in May 2005 during a high school graduation trip to the Dutch Caribbean island with classmates.

She was last seen leaving a bar with three young men on May 30.

It was not clear when the suspect was arrested, but he was questioned Friday and is being held in the city of Utrecht, Spong said.

Spong also told NOS the suspect is a friend of Joran van der Sloot – the last person known to have seen Holloway alive.

Van der Sloot says he left Holloway alone on a beach after kissing her.

Authorities have arrested at least eight people – including two last month – in connection with Holloway’s disappearance but released them all for lack of evidence.

Holloway’s parents are attempting to sue Van der Sloot, 18, in a New York court, alleging he imprisoned and sexually assaulted their daughter and caused her disappearance.

Dutch marines, the Aruban Coast Guard, the FBI and hundreds of volunteers have searched the island and coastal areas of Aruba for Holloway.