Police searched sand dunes on the northwest coast of Aruba for Natalee Holloway, the American teen who vanished on this Dutch Caribbean island seven months ago, police said Tuesday.

More than 50 police officers began searching a 1-square-mile area on Monday, said Gerold Dompig, Aruba's chief of police. The search was suspended Tuesday.

"We can't pull 55 people from the Aruba police force since the island only has about 250 police," Dompig said. "We do need that many people to do the search."

Dompig almost half the area was searched on Monday, and police said the search could resume as early as Thursday.

Holloway, of Mountain Brook, Ala., was an 18-year-old high school senior on a graduation trip to Aruba when she disappeared. She was last seen on May 30 leaving a bar with three young men, who were arrested in June and later released after a court ruled there was insufficient evidence to hold them.

Police have considered the dunes a place of interest since the investigation began and have searched them before, Dompig said.