This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," June 29, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Stunning new information about Joran van der Sloot's lies. Less than 24 hours after Natalee Holloway disappeared, before he was questioned by police, Joran Van Der Sloot had already made up a story about what happened that night.
Charles Croes spoke with Joran in the early morning hours of May 31. Earlier today, Charles told us about that conversation.
VAN SUSTEREN: Charles, take me back to May 30th, which is several hours after Natalee missed her flight. How did you first get wind of the fact that Beth Holloway Twitty was looking for her daughter?
CHARLES CROES, TALKED TO DUTCH SUSPECT: A major friend of mine called me up. He was working with Natalee's mom to help them find Natalee.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why would he call you? What is your occupation that would be a reason he would call you?
C. CROES: Well, I have a sail rental company. And there was apparently a phone call made. And he was calling me betting or hoping that the phone call was made from one of our phones, and so that's why he called me.
VAN SUSTEREN: About what time did he call you?
C. CROES: He called me at 11:30.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did he say to you?
C. CROES: He told me that he needed my help. And I asked him what it was about. And he told me that it had to do something with a cell phone. And I didn't relate it to anything but work at that point.
And then he said, "There is a possibility that a phone call was made using one of our phones." And I said, "OK." And he said, "It's very, very important." I said, "Fine," and I asked him to go into further details, and he did. And then I made arrangements to go see him.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you got to the gas station, did you talk to Beth?
C. CROES: Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did Beth have any idea at that point, as far as you knew, who her daughter had been seen with or who she had last been known to be with?
C. CROES: Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did she tell you?
C. CROES: Specifically, she told me that her daughter went to Carlos and Charlie's, and that, while there, she had met up with a young guy and asked him to take her home, and that she got into a small silver or gray car that had a large exhaust on the back and tinted windows, and had left.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did she have names for any of these people or just that description?
C. CROES: She had a description of the car and she had a description of one tall Dutch guy. And at that time, she said, with darkish hair.
VAN SUSTEREN: During the time that you were talking to Beth at the gas station, did the discussion of that phone call come up again?
C. CROES: Yes, it did.
VAN SUSTEREN: After you and Beth listened to that phone call several times and hung up with the person in the states, what did you do next?
C. CROES: After that, we spoke a while. And then we left that location with the intention of going to the Holiday Inn to continue meeting. On the way there, a young man and I were sitting in my car. And on the way there, instinctively, I wanted to go to drive off, pull over to the cabana area, just to look to see if perhaps she was there.
VAN SUSTEREN: Then where did you go?
C. CROES: Then we continued on track over to the Holiday Inn. And we were supposed to turn over to go into the Holiday Inn. And I had made a decision not to and went straight ahead. And going straight ahead, I made another decision to go to the beach area.
VAN SUSTEREN: What happened when you got there?
C. CROES: When I got there, there were three cars there. One was pulling out. It was a black car. There was another car parked there. And there was a car with kids in it. And I made the decision to talk to the kids. I got out of the car and, in talking to the kids, and describing what had happened, and explained to them why it is I was approaching them at this hour of the night and asking these questions.
I then described Joran. At this point, I wasn't sure about his name. And they asked me what kind of car he drove. And I wasn't sure. And I said, "But we do know that he was in a silver or gray metallic car, small car with a large exhaust." One of the guys says, "Oh, that's Joran."
I then spoke to him, and I said, "Would you kindly lead us to his home? Do you know where he lives?" And he said, "Sure." And he got in our car. And we went over to the house.
VAN SUSTEREN: So you drove over to the Van der Sloot home. And any idea about what time you arrived there?
C. CROES: Close to 3:00.
VAN SUSTEREN: Prior to that time when you went to the house, had you ever heard of the Van der Sloots or had you ever been to their house before?
C. CROES: Never.
VAN SUSTEREN: So then what happened next?
C. CROES: What happened next was that, in the interim of doing that, we had notified the family that we had found a house. Then they asked us to meet them at the police station. So we went back over to the police station.
VAN SUSTEREN: About how far is the police station from the Van der Sloot house?
C. CROES: Actually very close.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what did do you next? What time did you leave the police station about?
C. CROES: Some time between 2:40, 2:30, 2:45… at that time.
VAN SUSTEREN: A.M.?
C. CROES: Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: And where did you go?
C. CROES: Right to the house.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who went?
C. CROES: All of the people that were there, myself included.
VAN SUSTEREN: Meaning Beth and her husband, the police… were there some other friends from the United States with them?
C. CROES: Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: What happened when you got to the house?
C. CROES: When we got to the house, the police asked us to stay back. And they went to the front door, or the entrance. And they beeped the horn. No one responded. And they then did their police siren kind of thing. And no one responded. They did it several times, and then finally Mr. Van der Sloot came out.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you hear what he said?
C. CROES: I heard bits of the conversation but not the whole conversation, because I was still back.
VAN SUSTEREN: What bits did you hear?
C. CROES: I heard bits that he didn't know where his son was. I heard bits that referred to him having picked up his son at a McDonald's, those kind of things. There was nothing that was tied together, just little bits of conversation that were coming out.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did you then do next?
C. CROES: We went to the Wyndham Hotel.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why did you go to the Wyndham?
C. CROES: There was a feeling that Joran may be there playing poker.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did Paul Van der Sloot go with this entourage to the Wyndham Hotel?
C. CROES: Yes, he did.
VAN SUSTEREN: Who did he travel with?
C. CROES: I believe he went with the police.
VAN SUSTEREN: What happened when you got to the Wyndham? What did you do?
C. CROES: We went up to the casino area, and it was closing down, talking to some people. And they mentioned that they thought they had seen them there. They thought they had seen Natalee there, but there was no level of certainty.
VAN SUSTEREN: After all of you were at the Wyndham, and you learned that Joran was not there, what was the next thing that happened?
C. CROES: We then went back over to the Van der Sloots' house.
VAN SUSTEREN: Prior to arriving at the Van der Sloot's house, did you hear Paul Van der Sloot say anything at all about Natalee, about the disappearance, or any information? Did he seem to know anything at all about the disappearance?
C. CROES: No.
VAN SUSTEREN: Much more of our interview with Charles Croes is coming up in just a moment. He's going to tell us what happened when they got back to the Van Der Sloot house that night, or that morning.
VAN SUSTEREN: Earlier today, we spoke with Charles Croes, one of the first people to speak with Joran Van der Sloot after Natalee Holloway disappeared. Charles told us that the night after Natalee vanished, he, Natalee's family, and Paul Van der Sloot went searching for Joran at the casino but they didn't find him. I asked him what happened when they returned to the Van der Sloot house in the very early morning hours of May 31st.
C. CROES: When we got back, all of us got back to the Van der Sloot home, Joran was there, as well as the father, of course. And then Joran came out, spoke to the police.
VAN SUSTEREN: When you first saw Joran and his father, where were there and where were you?
C. CROES: They were standing by the gate area. And I was arriving in the car I was driving, and I saw them. And then I parked the car, and got out, and walked over to the side.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tell me next what you heard, what you saw.
C. CROES: I heard that there was some questioning going back and forth. And I heard the father several times say, "You know, is there anything we can do? You know, we're here to help." I heard Joran say, you know, "I'm willing to help, I'm willing to help, I'm willing to help."
VAN SUSTEREN: Did you hear Joran tell what happened that night, the last he'd seen of Natalee? What did he say?
C. CROES: Yes, I did hear him. And what he said was that they picked him up — or Natalee got into the car with them.
VAN SUSTEREN: At what time?
C. CROES: I'm not sure that he gave me the time. I have heard since then that it was 11:00ish or so.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did he say whether he knew Natalee from any earlier experience?
C. CROES: Yes, he did.
VAN SUSTEREN: What did he say?
C. CROES: He said that he had been gambling and that he met Natalee. And Natalee told him that she had lost some money and was trying to recuperate it before she went home. And he apparently was a good poker player, or blackjack player, whatever it is, and that he helped her recoup some of her monies, and gave it back to her. And she then considered him her lucky charm.
VAN SUSTEREN: When does the story pick up again? When does he next see her, that you know?
C. CROES: Well, he next told me that he was at Carlos and Charlie's, and that they were dancing. And then that she asked for a ride home.
VAN SUSTEREN: Can you give me the details, every single word exactly how he said it, that you recall?
C. CROES: That I recall, in the details was that he told me that she was coming on to him, and dancing provocatively, and then she said she wanted to have him take her home. He then agreed to that. And they went out, I guess, and they got in the car. She got in the car, and they drove off.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was there any sexual discussion at all?
C. CROES: Yes, there was.
VAN SUSTEREN: What was your observation of his demeanor at the time he was telling you these things?
C. CROES: Very uncomfortable young guy, very, very nervous, very uncomfortable.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did he describe whether or not she seemed to have had too much to drink or anything that night?
C. CROES: Yes, he did. He told me that she had been doing drugs and possibly been drinking, too.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did he indicate whether he was doing drugs or drinking?
C. CROES: He said that he had been drinking.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did he say how much he'd been drinking?
C. CROES: No.
VAN SUSTEREN: So what did Joran say happened to Natalee? I mean, at some point, the story continues.
C. CROES: Yes. He then said that they made a decision — that they were driving around. They made a decision to take her to the lighthouse to show her the lighthouse. They went up to the lighthouse, were there for a little while.
And then she was acting so crazy that he just wanted to take her home, back to the hotel. And that he took her to the hotel, pulled into the front, and opened the door, and that she got out. And when she got out, she tripped and fell.
VAN SUSTEREN: Then what?
C. CROES: And then got up, continued to walk into the Holiday Inn hotel.
VAN SUSTEREN: And is that where he said he last saw her?
C. CROES: That's exactly what he said.
VAN SUSTEREN: It's about 5 o'clock in the morning on Tuesday, May 31st. She missed her flight on Monday, the 30th, midday.
C. CROES: Yes.
VAN SUSTEREN: There's been absolutely no news, no newspaper cycle, to indicate that Natalee Holloway is missing, right, at that point?
C. CROES: OK.
VAN SUSTEREN: So somehow Joran decided to come up with this lie about the Holiday Inn, assuming that's a lie, and I guess that's pretty much been accepted as a lie?
C. CROES: All right.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there anything that he told you or he said that would suggest that he had any sort of inkling that she was missing and there was some foul play?
C. CROES: No. What he said to me — he repeated to me over and over again was his desire to help find her, that if there's anything he could do to help find her, he would, just please ask him, that kind of thing. It was a very — at that point, it was a scared young guy who seemed to be wanting to help.
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