Beth and Twitty went to the police when they arrived in Aruba. They told them everything they knew about Natalee’s last night in the area. They told them about the visit to Carlos’n Charlies, the boys Natalee met and everything else Natalee’s friends had shared with them.
They stayed in Natalee’s room at the hotel as they searched for their daughter. The hotel manager knew who van der Sloot was and the police set about looking for the high school honors student.
The police took Natalee’s parents with them when they went to talk to van der Sloot. For their part, Beth and Twitty thought they might find their daughter with him at his home. When they got to his house, they found his friend Deepak was there but not Natalee.
The pair said that they had no idea what happened to Natalee after they saw her to her hotel. They claimed that she was fine when they saw her last and denied any knowledge of what happened to the girl.
According to van der Sloot, Natalee said she wanted to see the sharks around Arashi Beach so they were planning to go out to the California Lighthouse. The American teen changed her mind and asked to be taken to her hotel so that she would not miss her flight home, which was scheduled for early the next morning.
Van der Sloot told the police that Natalee had a lot to drink at the bar and was quite inebriated. He said she was barely able to walk. They said they saw what they thought was a hotel security guard walk up to Natalee but were not aware of what happened after that.
Natalee’s parents did not think van der Sloot was telling the truth. The problem that the police had was that they did not have any evidence to tie the Dutch teen to the American teen’s disappearance. The local authorities, at Natalee’s parents’ urging, resumed the search and treated it more like a rescue than anything.
Thousands of local law enforcement personnel hit the island to search for Natalee. This was the largest search that was ever conducted on the small island. The Dutch government deployed military personnel and ships to participate in the search.
The locals on Aruba wanted to help. The Holiday Inn gave Natalee’s parents a room for free and local banks raised money to help with the search. They were helped by a few volunteer organizations in the area.
Hotel staff poured over their security footage to see if they could find evidence of Natalee’s return to her room. Different people gave very different accounts of what they saw on the video footage.