ORANJESTAD, Aruba – The father of disappeared American teenager Natalee Holloway said Thursday that he and a team of experts will search for his daughter's body in waters off Aruba following the recent re-arrest of three suspects in the case.
Dave Holloway told The Associated Press that he believes his daughter's body was thrown into the ocean in deeper waters than those already searched. He said he based that belief on conversations with a police official and a private forensic expert.
Holloway said a private boat owner is providing divers, sonar equipment and the ability to map the ocean floor.
"It's like this: we've searched all the land areas ... It's common knowledge on the island that if someone were to dispose of the body, it would be out in the ocean," he said by telephone.
Authorities never searched in waters deeper than 330 feet, so the family will do so now that it has the capability, equipment and expertise, Holloway said, adding that police would be alerted if anything is found.
On Wednesday, authorities announced they had re-arrested Dutch student Joran van der Sloot and two Surinamese brothers, Satish and Deepak Kalpoe, on suspicion of involvement in voluntary manslaughter and causing serious bodily harm that resulted in the death of Holloway.
"I hope I'm not going to be disappointed," Dave Holloway said. "We've seen these arrests and re-arrests in the past."
Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., was last seen leaving a bar with the three men on May 30, 2005, hours before she was scheduled to fly home with high school classmates celebrating their graduation on the Dutch Caribbean island. She was 18 at the time.
Hundreds of volunteers, Aruban soldiers, police and FBI agents — even Dutch air force planes — searched for the missing teen, but no trace was ever found.
Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers previously had been detained on suspicion of involvement in the woman's death, but they denied involvement and a judge released them for lack of evidence.
Van der Sloot, 20, was re-arrested in the Netherlands, where he was attending a university. The Kalpoe brothers — Deepak is 24, Satish, 21 — were taken into custody in Aruba.
Authorities said that "further investigation into the disappearance has led to new incriminating evidence."
Van der Sloot's mother, Anita, denied her son was arrested and said he was merely being taken to Aruba "for a final reconstruction."
She said by telephone that investigators had recently questioned her family and that of the Kalpoe brothers.
"The questions they asked were so obvious: things like, 'Why did Joran leave his shoes on the beach,"' she said, referring to the place where her son said he kissed Holloway alone before her disappearance. "I think it's ridiculous after two-and-a-half years to be doing this."
The brothers were expected to make an initial appearance in an Aruban court Friday, when prosecutors were expected to present the new evidence to a judge.
They are being held in separate jails and Mos said prosecutors believe they should be represented by separate attorneys to prevent a conflict of interest.
The Kalpoes' attorney, David Kock, did not return a call for comment Thursday, but he told a local radio station that the arrests were "an action of despair."
"There was no reason for their arrest now," he said. "We will take all kinds of measures to give our clients their freedom as soon as possible."
Wim de Bruin, a spokesman for the Dutch national prosecutor's office, said van der Sloot's transfer to Aruba could occur "within several days."
In April, investigators from the Netherlands dug around the home of van der Sloot's family for two days without revealing what prompted the search. Then in May, Dutch and Aruban investigators visited the home where Deepak and Satish Kalpoe live with their parents for what authorities termed an "inspection."