ORANJESTAD, Aruba – Shortly after the mother of a high school senior missing in Aruba (search) pleaded for more help from the U.S. government, the State Department issued confirmation that it was involved in the search, FOX News has learned.
Though bound by the Privacy Act from commenting too much on the case of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway (search), spokesman Sean McCormack said State Department officials learned of her disappearance in the Caribbean resort island on June 1 and is doing what it can to assist the family, FOX has learned.
"Natalie's family have arrived in Aruba. And a consular officer from Curacao is in Aruba at this time and is in contact with the family," McCormack said in a statement. "We are making sure that we provide all possible assistance to the family and local authorities."
He added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is also in Aruba "cooperating with local authorities in the search effort."
Earlier Friday, Natalee Holloway's mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, called for more help from the United States in the massive search under way in Aruba.
Police and volunteers there combed beaches and scrubland for a fifth consecutive day Friday on the Dutch Caribbean island.
Holloway's family wants the Dutch government to officially ask the U.S. government for more direct help in the search for the 18-year-old blonde, her mother Holloway Twitty told reporters.
Aruba police and Dutch military are leading the search with assistance from FBI agents, who are playing a supportive role.
"We all have a common goal to find Natalee so we can bring her home," she said, thanking officials, volunteers and residents.
She choked up as she finished the statement and left the room in tears.
Holloway came to Aruba for a five-day excursion with 124 seniors and 40 chaperones from Mountain Brook High School (search), near Birmingham, Ala.
She was last seen around 2 a.m. Monday, Attorney General Caren Janssen said Thursday.
Police discount the possibility she left the island, because they found her passport in her hotel room, van der Straaten said.
Hopes were lifted briefly just before midnight Thursday when a news photographer said he had seen Holloway on the west side of the island. Police rushed to the scene but found an island girl who fit the description but had brown hair, not Holloway's long blond tresses.
Dressed in the same blue-and-green striped, low-cut blouse and denim miniskirt that she wore at the beach earlier in the day, Holloway spent Sunday evening partying at Carlos 'N Charlie's, a popular restaurant and dance spot where tourists and locals meet in the capital, Oranjestad.
She left 10 minutes before closing at 1 a.m., said the restaurant's master of ceremonies Jose Hernandez, 38. "Nothing was out of the ordinary."
Friends saw her getting into a vehicle outside the nightclub. She did not show up to catch her flight Monday. Her stepmother, Robin Holloway, said Natalee was last seen with a local resident who claimed to be a foreign exchange student.
Police questioned and released three Aruban students who said they dropped Holloway off early Monday at the Holiday Inn where she had been staying, about three miles from Oranjestad, said police assistant inspector Jules Sambo.
"We don't have any indication as to if she is alive," Sambo said. "The whole population is aware that she is missing. The police are doing everything to find her."
Several family members arrived the day after she disappeared. Her mother and her father, David Holloway of Meridian, Miss., went on television Thursday night to appeal to residents for information.
"Natalee is a well-traveled teenager. She has traveled to Europe, Canada," family spokeswoman Marcia Twitty told ABC's "Good Morning America."
She added that Holloway would not get into a car with strangers. "This is totally, totally out of character for Natalee," she said.
The island of 72,000 off the coast of Venezuela has a reputation of being all but free of crime for tourists.
There was one murder and six rapes last year and two murders and three rapes this year. But all the rapes were committed by local men against local women. The two murders involved drug addicts who died in knife fights.
"Aruba is a happy island and a safe island," said Janssen, the attorney general. "We're looking everywhere."
FOX News' Teri Schultz and The Associated Press contributed to this report.