The father of missing Natalee Holloway, who vanished in Aruba 12 years ago, says the family’s ordeal may soon be over after human remains were found on the island.
Natalee, from the US state of Alabama, went missing in May 2005 while on a graduation trip with friends.
No one has ever been charged with killing her, but the 18-year-old was last seen on the Caribbean island with convicted murderer Joran van der Sloot.
The Dutchman is serving 28 years for killing student Stephany Flores in Peruvian capital Lima – a crime that took place five years to the day Natalee disappeared.
Dave Holloway hired a private investigator, and an informant was found who they say put them in contact with someone “directly involved with Joran van der Sloot in disposing of Natalee’s remains”.
The remains were found after several trips to the island and a tip off to dig behind a house.
DNA testing is now taking place to find out if the remains are Natalee’s. The results are expected in several weeks.
“Over the last 12 years we’ve had a number of disappointments,” Mr Holloway told US show Today.
“I’ve put up a wall trying to find something that’s not going to disappoint me. And when we determined these remains were human I was shocked.
“I know there’s a possibility this could be someone else and I’m just trying to wait and see.”
Van der Sloot was arrested three times by Aruban authorities over Natalee’s disappearance, but released each time due to lack of evidence.
He was captured on camera saying he and a friend had dumped Natalee’s body in the sea after she suffered a seizure, but later claimed he said it because he was under the influence of cannabis.
Despite being in a maximum security prison, the Dutchman married another woman in 2014 and the pair had a baby later that year.
In 2010, Natalee’s mother managed to sneak into the jail and confront van der Sloot.
He also allegedly tried to extort money from the family in exchange for information about where he claims their daughter is buried.