Published November 19, 2010
An Aruban prosecutor said Thursday that a jawbone found on the island last week belongs to a young woman, signaling a potential link to missing American teenager Natalee Holloway.
Dutch forensic experts are now testing a piece of the bone found on the Caribbean island to see if it comes from Holloway, who disappeared during a high school trip to Aruba in 2005.
Holloway's remains have never been found, despite extensive police searches. If the bone turns out to be from the missing teen, it would be the first concrete evidence of her death.
The FBI says Dutch authorities are reviewing Holloway's dental records. A FBI spokesman in Birmingham, Ala. told The Associated Press that the agency sent some records electronically on Wednesday and shipped some dental impressions.
Dave Holloway says he provided his daughter's dental records but hasn't received any new official information about the investigation.
Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, who faces separate murder charges in Peru, is the last person seen with Holloway and is suspected in her disappearance.
The Dutch daily De Telegraaf reported Tuesday the bone was found by tourists on a beach last Friday. The newspaper reported that it was a human lower jawbone, but spokeswoman Inge Oevering said the bone was still being analyzed to establish whether it was human. It has since been determined the jawbone belonged to a young woman.
Oevering said prosecutors in Aruba will announce the results of the DNA tests being conducted by Dutch forensic experts. She could not say how long the tests would take.
Van der Sloot is in jail in Lima charged with killing a woman in Peru five years to the day after Holloway's disappearance.
Van der Sloot has told several people he was involved in Holloway's disappearance, only to later retract his confessions. He has also admitted in interviews that he is a pathological liar.
Among his explanations, Van der Sloot has claimed that Holloway accidentally fell from a balcony and that he disposed of her body in a swamp. He also told an undercover reporter that she died unexpectedly while they were kissing and he dumped her body in the ocean.
Aruban prosecutors say they lack evidence to charge Van der Sloot.
U.S. law enforcement officials say Van der Sloot extorted $10,000 from Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, after offering to help find Holloway's body in Aruba, then used the money to travel to Lima.
The Associated Press and Newscore contributed to this report