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Late Wednesday night I wrote the blog below because I could not sleep... but minutes ago I was awakened with a call to return to the United States immediately. Obviously the terrorism in London is the reason. I am not sure where I am headed, what city I can get to in the United States, what flights are available, etc., but we are leaving Aruba (that is all I know at this moment.)
Here is the text that I thought would lead the blog today:
Our day yesterday in Aruba (search) started as every day does: We all have breakfast together and decide where to go first, the days are beginning to blur here for us since we spend hours and hours in the car driving around trying to get information. After a full day of driving and trying to get info, we then get ready for our show. Our day often — not always — ends at 11 p.m. when we turn the lights off on our set. (And yes, this is a long schedule but nothing like the schedule of the families of missing children!)
Yesterday we started with a trip to the Van der Sloot (search) home. We yelled from their gate that we were there and asked if we could talk to them. Two young boys came out, looked at us and said, "Oh no!" They left and no one would come out. The two family dogs came out wagging their tails and seemingly happy to see us. They did not bark at us but at one point both took off running at a lizard that crossed the driveway. (Yes, as long as we were there, we fed the monkey in the cage in the neighbor's yard with the food taken from the hotel buffet for that very purpose. The monkey is getting friendlier to us.)
After leaving the Van der Sloot house, we headed to the Kalpoe home a short distance away. The Kalpoe brothers' mother opened the door to our knock and talked to us on the porch for about 90 minutes. She has been very friendly in the past but she did not want us in the house today since both boys are now home and she did not want us to talk to her sons. After much talk, we convinced her to introduce us to Deepak (Satish was still sleeping.) We sat down with Deepak and spoke for about 30 minutes (no cameras.) His mother also sat there with us.
We talked about his interrogation, his detention and briefly about Joran. We hope to go back today and have him talk on camera. He may feel more comfortable with us today now that he has met us.
After leaving the Kalpoe home, we went to the chief prosecutor's office. We were told she was "on break" (I think that meant at lunch) but we are patient so we sat down and waited. We waited for about an hour and she appeared from the parking lot. She spotted me and turned her head away and said, as she turned away, "I have to work." I immediately — and politely — introduced myself and I stuck out my hand to shake hers. She reluctantly shook my hand but I felt like she worried her hand might fall off having touched mine. She then turned and left. Yes, she is busy and yes, she has a big job right now. She clearly did not want to talk to me. That's OK. As an aside, we want information — we do not seek to impede the investigation. I did not get a chance to tell her that. She was gone in a flash.
We then got back in the car and headed to the home of one of the anti-media demonstrators' homes. (Two days ago about 200 Arubans demonstrated in front of the courthouse — showing support for the released Kalpoes and complaining about the media.) We interviewed the gentleman and showed that taped interview on last night's show. As an aside, despite being part of the group demonstrating against us, he was very nice to us and very open to a discussion about the American media and the coverage of Aruban judicial system and Natalee Holloway. I enjoyed talking to him. (Note: His wife also could not have been nicer to us! She kept offering us water, tea, etc.)
After we finished the demonstrator's interview, we got back in the car and raced to an interview with Natalee's mother, Beth. In almost every investigation, the first 24 hours are critical for collecting information, clues, etc., so I wanted to walk Beth through that first 24 hours. I wanted to know what she heard, when, who she talked to, etc. Her memory could contain important clues. We played part of that interview last night and will play more tonight. No one had walked Beth through that 24 hours in great detail so I figured it might be informative. Of course, besides learning the facts, we are also reminded of the great pain this woman suffers.
In other news, a mistrial was declared in Notorious B.I.G. wrongful death case. Click here for more info.
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