Talking To Beth Holloway Five Years After Natalee's Disappearance
May 30, 2010
Mountain Brook, AL - It was a story that made headlines across the globe. The search for missing Mountain Brook teenager Natalee Holloway. The story that dominated the airwaves- also took over Beth Holloway's life. She is Natalee's mother, and five years later, she is still looking for answers and hoping Aruban prosecutors can close this case.
"I'm not sure if there is anything new, but they are processing all the leads and the tips that they have received."
Natalee is now presumed dead, but no one knows how she died or why.
"We've really tried to be so careful and not to speculate as to what happened an just stick with the known facts."
We do know that Natalee was last seen alive with Dutch teen Joran van der Sloot at Carlos n' Charlie's. Over the years, van der Sloot has told many stories of what happened that night. All the while Beth listened to each of these tales hoping to find a thread of truth.
"I think there was one where he said he sold her alive.I think there was another where he said she fell of a balcony in a swamp. I think now it's become so muddy for me that no my journey for justice is not ended."
It's been five years since Natalee disappeared. Legally, her family could now file for a death certificate in Alabama, but they have not thus far since Natalee disappeared abroad.
"We know that Natalee is no longer alive. I know we had talked about that earlier, few years ago,but it is not something that we have done yet."
Over the years, Beth and her family have learned how to deal with the pain of losing Natalee, but it is still an open wound. In March, a Pennsylvania couple thought they may have taken a picture of a body- maybe Natalee's body- on the ocean floor. News like that- always makes the family hopeful.
"You know I got caught up for a just- you get taken in. But as I said, there is a quicker recovery time where I am able to compartmentalize it and focus on what I can do..."
She is now focused on her new life's work which was born out of the death of her daughter.
"Tragedy creates an opportunity to make a difference."
Making A Difference
Beth Holloway thought she knew exactly who she was more than five years ago.
"My life was defined with two children, a marriage, job and home. When a tragedy strikes, you lose everything."
During the Memorial Day weekend of 2005, Beth's life changed forever. With Natalee missing, she was now the mother of one- not two. She would later divorce her then husband Jug Twitty. So she was no longer a wife. Her life "definition" changed- and with it so did her life's purpose.
"I received the call that all mothers and fathers dread from the moment their children is born- that my daughter was missing."
So now her mission is to help others. Beth tells the story of Natalee's disappearance to high school and college students round the nation as part of her work with the Natalee Holloway Resource Center,which launches in D.C. on June 8.
"The Natalee Holloway Resource Center is focusing on education and crime prevention, and in the event that a loved one goes missing we have the resources and the contacts to assist the families."
Beth says she had no idea who to contact in Aruba when Natalee went missing. She also knew nothing about the Dutch system of Justice or who was in charge. Out of her frustration a new global security and assistance company was born. It's called Mayday 360.
"When I present to these high school and college students, I could give them the personal safety and travel safety message, but I really felt like I couldn't equip them with a real tangible resource. And I feel with Mayday 360, I can because that is real time, real security assistance, 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
She says her definition of herself continues to evolve, but everything she does now can be traced back five years to Aruba- the place where paradise met tragedy. The place that gave birth to her new life's work and hope that..
"No one will ever experience what I did heading home from a family vacation on Memorial Day."
Reported by: Cynthia Gould
Last Update: 5/30 10:45 pm
Mountain Brook, Alabama (WIAT) It's been five years since Natalee Holloway disappeared on a senior class trip in Aruba. Her mother is continuing her fight for justice and to educate other families about the dangers of travel overseas. The Natalee Holloway Resource Center opens in Washington, D.C. in June. Beth Holloway is also working with a global security firm called Mayday 360. Click on the video link to find out more about these programs