Monkey Business

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Since I promised you the behind the scenes....

When we were at the Van der Sloot (search) home two days ago, and while I was inside the home, one of my colleagues noticed that there was a monkey in a cage in the yard at the house next to the Van der Sloots. The monkey was making lots of noise and sounded to her to be in distress. The cage was deep into someone's property but one could see the monkey banging on his cage.

My colleague (I was inside the Van der Sloots' house at the time) found out that the owner had gone away for two weeks leaving the monkey alone. Needless to say, she was pretty upset about it (and I admit I was, too, when I came out of the Van der Sloot house and was told about the monkey.)

My colleague could not stand to wait outside the Van der Sloot house with the monkey making noise — seemingly in distress to her. She had to take action. So, she entered the neighbor's property to investigate the monkey's problem.

As she entered the property, another neighbor came out and announced that she called the police on my colleague. The reason? She said we — FOX News — were trying to "wire" the monkey so that we could pick up conversations in the Van der Sloot house next door. I assure you, FOX News Channel was not trying to "wire" the monkey. None of us at the Van der Sloot house has any training or experience in "wiring monkeys." We just are not that clever or smart. Nonetheless the police were called because of the suspicion we were wiring the monkey to spy on the Van der Sloots.

The police arrived while I was still inside the Van der Sloot house and unaware of the activity. My producer, upon seeing the police, wondered about sending me via my phone a text message about an emergency but decided not to do so. The police pulled up, honked and left. No arrests.

When I emerged from the house and got into the car, I was briefed on the monkey (in addition to my briefing to my producer about what had transpired inside the house.) I learned that my colleague was almost in tears about the monkey. Of course, we were concerned about the monkey. It is very, very, very hot in Aruba and to be stuck outside in that heat is rough. We did learn that someone comes by every day and feeds the monkey. While that made us feel a bit better, it did not make us feel a lot better.

So, today when we went back to the Van der Sloot house, we brought fruit from the buffet in our hotel to feed the monkey. We brought bananas, apples and other stuff for the monkey. This time we all went to the monkey cage. I have posted some pics of us feeding the monkey and also giving him water. The monkey whose name is unknown to us is very cute.

In addition to feeding him, my producer George Szucs also took a hose and cleaned out the urine in the bottom of the cage. He wanted the monkey to have a cleaner home. (It also did not "help" that the monkey soaked food we gave him in any liquid he could find so we wanted to make it very clean!) This time at the monkey cage we were not threatened with the police. We all felt better — but sure wish the monkey had not been left alone for two weeks. The monkey and his/her treatment has been a topic we frequently discuss as we drive around the island... we continue to worry about him/her.

Oh yeah... there is one really random picture that I added to my photo essay. It is of Laura Ingle after the Michael Jackson (search) verdict. It is sort of a fun photo and shows her level of exhaustion — she had working around the clock in Santa Maria since January. I found it in my collection of pictures on the computer.

Here are some random viewer e-mails:

E-mail No. 1

I know you are out of the country but you really need to get a wardrobe! Also, a hint when you are putting on makeup: Use a mirror!
Patrick Petrozzo

E-mail No. 2

Can you please give us an idea of how far the beach area where Joran said he was with Natalee is to the Van der Sloot home? Is it a short walk, or would one most likely need a ride from the beach to the home? I'm not surprised that [Paul] van der Sloot was arrested. I just pray they get answers now.
Patty Mathews
Claremore, OK

ANSWER: It is at least a few miles... I have driven it many times but we go a different route every time and often get lost!

E-mail No. 3

Did you get a sense of there being something amiss with this guy, when you interviewed him and his wife? His wife certainly is upset and he seemed agitated and nervous.

ANSWER: He was very upset. What I don't know is if he was upset because of the serious problem or because he knows something... both are explanations for what I observed.

E-mail No. 4

Has anyone thought of asking the government of the United States if they had a spy satellite taking pictures of the area that night or any other governments if they had one dong the same thing?
John Moore,
Gulfport, MS

ANSWER: I have no idea.

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