School Starting Without Holloway

ByABC News via via logo

Aug. 22, 2005 — -- Sororities and fraternities at the University of Alabama are hanging yellow ribbons across campus, honoring one teenager who will not be attending her first day of college classes this Wednesday.

Natalee Holloway disappeared on a high school graduation trip to Aruba on May 30. Her mother, Beth Holloway Twitty, spoke to "Good Morning America" about school starting without her daughter.

"It angers me when I realize Natalee has this life before her and she's not able to be in it," she said. "We're just so hurt."

Holloway's spot is being held at the University of Alabama and she has a room and a roommate waiting for her.

The full scholarship winner planned on majoring in pre-med and rushing a sorority. Some fraternity and sorority houses at Alabama have hung yellow ribbons, as a reminder that Holloway will not be starting classes this week, but is not forgotten.

The school held its freshman orientation earlier this summer, and some of Natalee's hometown friends who are enrolled there reported the school has been "unbelievably helpful" and willing to help Natalee's friends and family in any possible way.

On Saturday, Aruban Prime Minister Nelson Oduber met with Twitty to assure her Aruban officials would not stop looking for answers in Natalee's disappearance. He also urged Twitty to be "more careful" about her comments regarding Aruba's judicial system and the investigation so far, adding that many Arubans, himself included, "have stood by her side."

Oduber also addressed Arubans, some of whom have expressed resentment at Twitty's criticism of the investigation. Oduber asked Arubans for "a bit of understanding" for Twitty and said "it's very painful to have a child with a brilliant future disappear."

Twitty told "Good Morning America" that Aruba "is a small island and everybody knows everybody else's business," adding there was "no excuse" for officials not to solve the mystery of her daughter's disappearance.

The only person in custody in the case, 18-year-old Joran Van der Sloot, will appear in court on Sept. 4, at which time a judge will decide whether there's enough evidence to keep him in jail.

"I just will be completely shocked if he is [released]," Twitty said. "I certainly hope that they are really getting their ducks in a row and ready."

Van der Sloot acknowledges he was alone with Holloway on the night she vanished, but maintains he left her unharmed on the beach outside her hotel. He has not been charged with a crime.

Authorities found Holloway's passport and packed bags in her hotel room.

Holloway's friends in her hometown of Mountain Brook, Ala., have raised $40,000 to help with the ongoing search efforts.

Actress Courteney Cox, also from Alabama, is planning an auction to raise money for the search.

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