Lawyer: Joran Doesn't Know Man Arrested in Holloway Case

ByABC News via logo
April 17, 2006, 7:05 AM

April 17, 2006 — -- Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch teen long suspected of being involved in Natalee Holloway's disappearance, does not know the 19-year-old arrested over the weekend in the case, his lawyer says.

Over the weekend, Aruban authorities announced that they had made a new arrest in Holloway's disappearance.

Holloway has been missing since she disappeared on May 30, 2005, while on a class trip to Aruba. Authorities would not release the name of the person who was arrested and would not say whether he was considered a suspect. They only said that he was 19 years old and had the initials G.V.C. Sources told ABC News that the young man's name was Geoffrey van Cromvoirt.

On Sunday, some media reports said van der Sloot and van Cromvoirt were acquaintances. Joseph Tacopina, an attorney representing van der Sloot, who was arrested in Holloway's disappearance last year but released because of a lack of evidence, said those reports were wrong. His client, he said, knows nothing about van Cromvoirt.

"I am absolutely convinced he doesn't know him, doesn't hang out with, or socialize with him, did not know his name," Tacopina said. "This somehow brought Joran back into the picture. He knows nothing about him, has never spoken of him, and certainly did not discuss the case with him."

Van Cromvoirt worked for a private security company that patrols beaches outside Aruba's hotels. Holloway was last seen leaving an Aruba bar with van der Sloot and Surinamese brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, who were held for 25 days before being released. Van der Sloot has said he left Holloway on a beach near her hotel after they had kissed.

Van Cromvoirt's family runs the security company, according to Tacopina. The company provides security for the Aruban government and private companies, including the Holiday Inn, where Holloway was staying, he said. The company installed the security camera and patrols the beach. Van Cromvoirt was part of the team that patrolled the Holiday Inn's beach in the early hours of the morning, according to Tacopina.

"This is a positive step as far as we are concerned in this investigation because we have always maintained [van der Sloot] is innocent of harming in any way, shape or form," Tacopina said.

Van der Sloot has repeatedly denied being involved in Holloway's disappearance. He regretted one thing in his encounter with her.

"I think what I did wrong is leaving her there at the beach. I should have brought her back to her hotel or I should have made sure I left her with someone, one of her friends," van der Sloot told ABC's "Primetime."

Last week, a Dutch TV show similar to "America's Most Wanted" reenacted the Holloway story in an episode that aired in Aruba last week. The show advertised a tip line.

"I understand they got approximately 60 tips," said Dave Holloway, Natalee's father. "And maybe this is one of them they're following up on."

Tacopina said that forensic evidence had been found on a T-shirt on the south side of the island, and that there were lots of leads that hadn't been explored yet.

"When we started getting our hands around the FBI reports and Aruban law enforcement documents, I got so agitated in seeing the other leads not followed up on simply because the name van der Sloot was not attached to it," Tacopina said. "I think they came into possession of this young boy's name within the last couple of weeks."

Under Aruban law, van Cromvoirt can be held for three days before facing a judge. He is scheduled to make his first appearance in Aruban court on Tuesday.