Aruba police say developments coming in case of missing Alabama teen

There are developments in the case of Natalee Holloway, the 18 year-old Alabama high school senior who disappeared from a graduation celebration the night before her flight home from Aruba. While police, and volunteers continue their week long search of the tiny island nation for Natalee, police seem confident that they’ll have answers in the case this weekend.

ORANJESTAD, Aruba — Three men who said they dropped off an Alabama teenager at her hotel have emerged as “the most important lead” in the honor student’s disappearance on this Dutch Caribbean island, police said today.

Deputy police chief Gerold Domping said authorities were investigating the background and story of two Surinamese men and a native of The Netherlands who said they dropped her off at the Holiday Inn before dawn Monday. Domping declined to call the men suspects, saying they were “persons of interest,” but said the men were “the most important lead.”

“We are working diligently,” Domping said. “I want everybody to hold their breaths for the next 24 hours. There will be developments after this weekend.”

An official close to the investigation said the three men – legal Aruban residents between the ages of 18 and 25 – told police they had taken Holloway to a beach at the northwestern tip of Aruba before dropping her off at the hotel.

But her uncle Paul Reynolds, who traveled from Houston to help in the search, said he was told security cameras did not show Holloway returning to the hotel that night.Extensive coverage at Scared Monkeys

Update: Two security guards from a nearby hotel that is closed for renovation have been arrested. The men are not among the three previously mentioned as “persons of interest.” Still no sign of Holloway.

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