Parents' Statement

"Not only as parents but also as human beings we are appalled that a young girl is missing for a long time. And we sincerely hope and pray despite all odds that she will come back alive.

We think that our country Aruba has made a tremendous effort so far to find her. In Aruba such cases are very very rare, contrary to other countries where such occurs daily. One should only watch the American television and all the television programs on past cases.

As parents, we are now confronted with the fact that our son is being held on the suspicion to have something to do with the case of the missing girl. We are appalled at this development. We cannot believe that he should have anything to do with the case.

This comes out of the blue for us. We are law-abiding people and have raised our son to respect the law and persons. Our son was constantly reminded of how to behave properly and to respect people.

We as parents have had some difficulties, like a divorce, but remained as very good friends. This was not only because of our son, but also because of the kind of people we are.

We do feel for the other families that are somehow connected with the tragedy and as we have said we hope and pray the girl will be found alive.

We now face the fact that our son has been arrested and we hope and pray everything will come out all right for him. In fact, we do not expect otherwise for he is a caring person and very much liked by all others.

Although a broken family, we are a family with good ties and relations. Parents and son have a good relationship and understanding. There exist no authoritarian or terrorized relationship between parents and son.

Nevertheless, justice should be done. However, justice — although legal systems and procedures may differ from country to country — is an international criterion and not the property or patent of any country.

We all pretend to live in a civilized society. Justice should not be carried by ethnocentrism and not be franchised or patented. We are all equal and we all have rights and obligations. We are all innocent until proven guilty. This counts also for our son.

Therefore, we request and urge everyone, especially the media, local and international, to respect us and our son as persons, and also our interests. We have professional legal system and we all should observe the law and human rights.

The media has certain rights to gather information to inform the public but not at the expense of any individual. As we said, we are all equal, no one is more equal than others, although some American media may think otherwise. There is no better breed, no new Aryan race.

We will not tolerate disrespect, any harassment of our son and us, stalking, abuse in anyway, name calling, mud throwing, slander, insults, invasion of our son's and our privacy — we reject any type of sensationalism.

We will not tolerate these things and will not hesitate to act with all legal force, here in Aruba and elsewhere and go after these actors. Our son and we are not to be intimidated in anyway; our good names and reputation wrecked in anyway.

We will not be sacrificed for the sake of news or any type of publicity. We respect freedom of opinion and freedom of the press, but not at our personal expense. Any opinion should have a basis or proof.

We will not be crucified on any television program. If anyone has anything to say it should be with proof; if not, we will act. We will defend our son and ourselves with all our might and resources. If there is anything to say our lawyer will do so. We will not talk to the press.

This is our right and our privilege and we request it be respected. We expect the press not to camp outside our house and terrain, we will not tolerate stalking, trespassing and will act immediately with lawful means.

So we once more request and urge everyone to respect and await developments as civilized people and not sacrifice persons for the sake of sensation and program ratings."