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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Natalie Holloway Death Case Remains Unsolved; Jawbone Wasn't Hers

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Aruba Jawbone Not Natalee Holloway's, Prosecutors Say

A jawbone with a tooth recently found on a beach in Aruba does not belong to missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, the prosecutor's office there said Tuesday.

The agency said that an analysis based on dental records rules out that the bone fragment came from her. It said forensic scientists in the Netherlands conducted a detailed examination.

Officials did say Tuesday that the jawbone is human, but it is unclear whom it belongs to.

Forensic scientists in the Netherlands requested Holloway's dental records last week to help them analyze it, which set off speculation that it could belong to Holloway.

The Mountain Brook, Ala. student was 18 when she disappeared while on a high school graduation trip in 2005.

She was last seen leaving a bar with Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in her disappearance, on the final night of her trip.

Aruba prosecutors have repeatedly said they lack evidence to charge Van der Sloot, who is currently in jail in Peru, accused of killing a 21-year-old woman last May 30 — five years to the day after Holloway's disappearance. He has denied killing Holloway.

U.S. law enforcement officials have charged Van der Sloot with trying to extort money from Holloway's mother to reveal the location of Holloway's body.

Carol Standifer, who said she is close friends with the teen's mother, Beth Twitty, told CBS's "The Early Show" that Twitty was prepared for the results, regardless of the outcome.

"This is what we really have been searching for over five years," she said during the interview, which took place before officials announced the results. "I think if it is Natalee, there will be some semblance of closure. Of course, it won't be complete closure, because we really don't know for sure exactly what happened."

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Sources: MSNBC, Wikipedia, Google Maps

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