Source: Dutch Officials 'Almost Certainly Know' Whether Jaw Bone Belongs to Natalee Holloway

Dutch authorities testing bone against Natalee Holloway's dental records.

ByABC News
November 16, 2010, 10:08 AM

Nov. 19, 2010— -- The Dutch forensics team charged with examining a jaw bone that washed up on an Aruban beach has had Natalee Holloway's dental records in hand since Tuesday, more than enough time to make a comparison, a source close to the family said today.

"They almost certainly know by now the results," the source told ABC News.

"There are mixed signals," the source said. "If it wasn't her I'd think they'd come out and say it wasn't her with all the fanfare."

Aruban prosecutor Peter Blanken made headlines Thursday by telling CNN that the jaw bone was that of a young woman. Yet, after flying to the Netherlands for the testing, Blanken is headed home to Aruba, the source said, based on information out of Aruba.

The Forensic Institute said earlier this week that the announcement of the findings would be left to Aruban authorities.

The bone, which the Dutch-language paper de Telegraff reported was the lower half of the jaw with one molar still intact, was found by tourists last week on a beach in Aruba.

Holloway, an 18-year-old high school senior from Alabama, vanished in the island country in May 2005 while on a school trip. If the bone is confirmed to be Holloway's it would be the first piece of physical evidence that the teenager was dead.

The suspect in her disappearance has long been Dutch playboy Joran van der Sloot, who has never been formally charged.

Van der Sloot, who was 17 years old at the time of Holloway's disappearance, is now being held in a Peruvian prison after confessing to the murder of Stephany Flores, 21, earlier this year.

Both of Holloway's parents, who are divorced, are said to be waiting for word from Aruba.

"The authorities haven't confirmed anything with me," the teen's father, Dave Holloway, told The Associated Press.. "It's pretty much total silence."

There have been many false hopes regarding Natalee's disappearance in the five years since she went missing.

Beth Twitty , Holloway's mother, has made several attempts to get information out of van der Sloot, who has promised to talk then reneged or spoken only in vague terms.