We have been "scrambling" for many days and we are pretty tired. The days are long — from about 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. — and sometimes we work until midnight. We don't stop when we say good-bye to you.
Last night after the show we went from the set at 11 p.m. to the beach — not for midnight sunbathing, but rather to the beach that the Dutch teen took Natalee Holloway (search) to on May 30. We wanted to see it — and see it at late night when Natalee was supposedly there. I suppose it would have been more accurate to make a trip there at about 1 a.m. — but we are so sleep deprived that midnight had to do. I could see no point in staying until 1 a.m. We shot some video (but of course it was dark) just in case we want to show it to you. I will need to look at it later today to see if it is helps you understand this investigation. It was obviously dark — but the light of the moon illuminated the area. In fact, what could be different about the conditions is not midnight vs. 1 a.m., but rather the type of moon on May 29 into May 30.
Our day today will start in a few minutes with chaos. We are staying on tonight and apparently the hotel is sold out. So, we start with a bit of a problem... our show needs at least three more rooms that we don't have. I hope I am not sleeping in the airport lounge tonight (it will be like college again!) We also can't change our airline plans to leave today in light of the hotel "issue"... it is too late... we missed the last flight that will get us to Washington, D.C. in time for tonight's show. And, of course we don't want to leave... we want to do more work here. Oh well, it will work out.
We have been combing this island for information and you know our cameras travel with us. It is now a joke among us (yes, we need some levity from time to time) is that the only thing we have not seen in daylight since arriving here days and days ago is the beach. We look at the beaches as we drive along the road and talk about them — but that is as far as it goes. The beaches are beautiful here.
Yesterday, as you know, we went to the home of the parents of the Dutch teen who is in custody. We showed you about 10 minutes of our interview last night and we have about 30 more minutes of tape. The total tape is about 40 minutes. We hope to show you more of the interview tonight, plus the other tape we have that has not yet been shown.
I have posted several pictures today on the blog — visit www.gretawire.com to check out my photo essay — I want you to see more of this story and how we cover it. If you watched last night, you know that we spent our day — when we were not at the Dutch teen's home — with Natalee's mother. She was going door to door about her daughter. Everyone — and I mean everyone — on the island knew who Natalee is, even the young children we met on the street. And yes, Beth is still holding out hope for that clue where her daughter is.
I am hoping to leave tomorrow morning so that I can go home and sleep... but there is a chance I could be back in Aruba (search) on Monday. It will depend on whether there is more we can find out by me being here.
Now some random e-mails:
E-mail No. 1
There are certainly more questions then answers in the Natalee Holloway case: Who was her roommate? Was she not curious when she got up the morning they left and Natalee was not in their room? Did she not right away tell someone something? And something else strikes me as strange: The Dutch boy's mom was out of the country and I get the impression Joran's dad let that kid do about as he pleased. I think there was much going on the mom was never aware of... and I feel the dad is hiding something just from his demeanor. Like maybe he is covering for his son cause he knows something he son may have told him.
I just hope when the authorities finally speak they have some "good" evidence to share with us.
Glad you are there and I was put off by some negative comments on your blog from people... you can't be all places at once and this case needs media attention simply because it is in a foreign country. Keep these people on their toes and aware this is doing nothing for tourism.
I bring myself up to date every evening by watching your show. People have sure seen a side of Aruba most never knew existed.
Again thanks for the excellent coverage.
E-mail No. 2
I have been watching the news on Natalee since the beginning. Watching everything and listing. I'm getting the hunch that that father of the Dutch boy has a lot to do with this. This is my thought on this: I feel that the father has this private business (black market.) He has his son go out and wine and dine these girls. Then he has the girls sent to a different country to be sold for money. I feel that she is still alive somewhere in a different country. I think Aruba is hiding something about this. My question is: What does the father do for work and where? And same as for the mother. I think they should seize the bank accounts and find out where they are getting the money. If the father had nothing to hide, then he should be out helping. What are they doing for money now? It's been weeks since the disappearance and nothing has been said about the their jobs, or if they have gone to work. If they are well to do, then we should find out why.
E-mail No. 3
I am surprised to find myself writing this. However, I feel very strongly that I can help you find that "something" in the search for Natalee. I recently (early May) spent my honeymoon in Curacao and Bonaire. My husband and I had a wonderful time and found the people to be extremely kind and intelligent.
That first time the media reported that Natalee had passed I felt so strongly that they were wrong. I don't know why though, and I'm not sure what I think now. But if you think there is a possibility that she is still living and that her disappearance is related to more extensive crimes/networks I think I could offer a lot of help.
I'm 26 years old, but I look ridiculously young. My husband also appears much younger than he is. We have the ability to come to Aruba as tourists and have conversations with younger people throughout the island that might not otherwise take place. Please contact me if you think that we can be of assistance.
Rachel Huseman Schneider
E-mail No. 4
Has anyone ever wondered if Natalee could be in South America? Was she brought over there to be a prostitute? They have searched the island and have turned up nothing… the island is small and so many people have been looking for her, I don't think she is on the island I hope we hear that someone has looked into the possibility that she is in South America somewhere... and I hope that the boys they have in custody come forward with the truth I do believe they know more than what they are saying… What are they afraid of ?
E-mail No. 5
Have the authorities considered that Natalee may have been abducted and sold? Just a thought.
E-mail No. 6
Every time you do a gut-wrenching story, a couple of viewers write and critique you for a lighthearted moment on your show or for including a photo of someone smiling in your blog. I think they would do well to review your last night's show of Natalee's mom, showing her being lighthearted and joking with residents of Aruba. This woman is in terrible pain, yet she is able to use humor to put others at ease and to help relieve the emotional trauma of searching for her lost child. Having spent twenty plus years in the military, I can tell you that humor is a natural source of both strength and relief. My wife, who is a nurse, would frequently relate stories of humor used in the hospital to relieve the stress of caregivers and ease the pain of patients.
I wonder if these critics of your efforts ever find any reason to smile. Do they feel that sitting at home being dour serves a noble purpose? I'll put my money on the 5' 3" dynamo in Aruba who is actually helping to find Natalee as well as reporting on it. If you can find a moment of humor among the heat, stress and deprivation, then more power to you.
Send your thoughts and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch "On the Record" weeknights at 10 p.m. ET