NEW YORK – A lawsuit that claimed a Dutch college student was responsible for the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba last year was dismissed Thursday by a judge who said it should not have been filed here.
Holloway's parents, who sought unspecified damages, claimed that if the suit were filed in Aruba, it would re-ignite a media frenzy that could interfere with the ongoing investigation.
In rejecting that argument, state Judge Barbara Kapnick cited an earlier ruling that found local taxpayers should not have to foot the bill for a complex case "when their interest in the suit ... is so ephemeral."
Holloway, then 18, was visiting the Dutch Caribbean island with high school classmates when she vanished May 30, 2005.
She was last seen leaving a bar on Aruba with Joran van der Sloot, who was also 18. He and two friends were arrested a few days later on suspicion of involvement in her disappearance.
Van der Sloot admitted he was with the teen but denied any wrongdoing, and all three suspects were released.
A telephone call to an attorney for Holloway's parents was not immediately returned Thursday.
Van der Sloot, who just finished his first year of college in Holland, "was elated" by the judge's decision, said his attorney Joseph Tacopina.
"We were never afraid of the facts in this case," the lawyer said. "He did nothing to this girl. ... He's trying to get on with his life."