Lawyer: Suspect to Be Charged in Aruba Missing Woman Case

A suspect will be charged in connection with the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba, a lawyer for the suspect said Tuesday.

The suspect will be charged with kidnapping, homicide and accessory to homicide during a court appearance on Wednesday, the attorney said.

News of the charges came as searchers continued to scour the island for the 18-year-old woman. Volunteers, police, soldiers and FBI agents searched scrubland and beaches on Aruba's southeastern tip Tuesday.

One Atlanta resident told FOX News that she was vacationing in Aruba and confirmed that she was approached by the same guards currently in custody in the case and was offered marijuana by them.

The Dutch Caribbean island's government on Monday let 4,000 civil servants off work early at 2 p.m. to hunt for Holloway, who vanished a week ago on a school trip there. About 700 people participated in the expanded search, which began a day after police charged two men in the disappearance of the 18-year-old from Mountain Brook, Ala.

The honors student vanished May 30 while on a five-day trip with more than 100 classmates celebrating their high school graduation. Seven chaperones accompanied them.

Kenneth Angela and three co-workers from Aruba's lottery company were among the hundreds who boarded 10 buses in the community of Santa Cruz, about six miles from the capital, Oranjestad (search), to be taken to the search site.

"It's the first time Aruba has done such a big search," said Angela, a 31-year-old lottery supervisor. "We want to keep Aruba's name good. That's why we're here, to help find Natalee."

U.S. law enforcement officials stressed to FOX News that the FBI is not the lead investigator in the case but that the agency is "working closely with authorities in Aruba."

The FBI's office on the island of St. Thomas is helping, along with a team of agents sent in from various parts of the United States, including the Washington field office and the Miami field office. This team includes trained forensic divers. The FBI's office in Birmingham, Ala., is contacting and interviewing relatives.

Official: Suspects Tried to Pick Up Women

The two suspects, aged 28 and 30, were arrested in a raid before dawn Sunday. Aruba officials declined to provide specific charges. Authorities had not found any of Holloway's belongings at the suspects' homes.

Authorities impounded three vehicles and took bags of items from the two homes of the suspects.

The two suspects had lost their jobs as security guards at a hotel closed for renovation near where Holloway was staying on her last night on the island because their work contract had expired, a senior police official said Tuesday.

They were known to police because they had a habit of going around to hotels trying to pick up women or bum cigarettes, said the official. One of the suspects had a brush with the law, but it was not a violent or sexual offense, the official said.

Police spokesman Edwin Comemencia said authorities had not ruled out the possibility that other people were involved. The two men in custody were not among three others described Saturday by police as "persons of interest."

Authorities declined to comment whether there was a relationship between the suspects and other three, earlier described as students — two Surinamese (search) and a native of the Netherlands — who told police they dropped off Holloway at her hotel around 2 a.m. on May 30. Hotel employees, however, say that security cameras did not record her return.

The night she disappeared, Holloway went to a beach concert and then ate and danced at Carlos 'n' Charlie's bar and restaurant. She did not show up for her return flight hours later, and police found her passport in her hotel room with her packed bags.

It was not clear if Holloway had been drinking the night of her disappearance, though her relatives say she does not party much, is achievement-oriented and a straight-A student who had earned a full scholarship to study a premedical course at the University of Alabama (search). Her hotel, the Holiday Inn, is right on the water.

The Aruba government and local tourism organizations have offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to Holloway's rescue. Her family and benefactors in Alabama have offered $30,000 in addition.

Family Grateful to Arubans

More than 100 Meridian, Miss., residents gathered at a church Monday night to pray for the safe return of Holloway, who is a Mississippi native. Her father is a resident of Meridian.

Holloway's parents are staying in the room at The Holiday Inn in Aruba that their daughter was staying in before she disappeared. The missing teen's uncle, Paul Reynolds, told FOX News Tuesday morning that while staying in the same room is difficult for the parents, it gives them a feeling of closeness to her.

And the outpouring of support from the Aruban community and at home is holding the family together, he said.

"It's overwhelming how they [the people of Aruba] have responded — it's almost like a large family here," Reynolds told FOX News. "They've been very supportive ... it's a wonderful thing to see how everyone pulls together."

The initial idea for the search called for an islandwide effort, but later changed focus to the southeastern area of Seroe Colorado and part of San Nicolas, police commander Judy Hassell said. San Nicolas is where authorities arrested the two men who were charged in the case.

Hassell said Aruba's 74 square miles, slightly larger than Washington, D.C., made a full search of the island impractical.

"We're going to do as much as we can," he said.

Some of the volunteers were tourists, including Bill and Sarah Wise, both 22, of Cleveland.

"We couldn't leave without trying to help a fellow American," Bill Wise said.

The coast guard said Aruba's shoreline already had been searched on foot, by boat and helicopter, but the new search was more thorough.

Holloway's disappearance has shaken the sense of security many of Aruba's 97,000 people took for granted. Only one murder and six rapes were recorded last year. So far this year, there have been two murders and three rapes on the island, where the average annual income is a comfortable $22,000.

FOX News' Rick Leventhal, Sharon Fain, Anna Persky and Jonathan Serrie and The Associated Press contributed to this report.