Mystery Man in Holloway Case Comes Forward

The man named as accomplice in the Aruba disappearance denies any involvement.

ByABC News
February 4, 2008, 1:11 PM

ORANJESTAD, Aruba <br> Feb. 5, 2008&#151; -- A 21-year old Aruban came forward Monday to say that he is the mystery man that Joran van der Sloot implicated on undercover tapes, but claims that he had nothing to do with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

Daury Rodriguez said he was contacted on Saturday by a frantic biographer of Van der Sloot's who, he said, warned him that his name was about to surface in the press as being the alleged accomplice who took Holloway's body out to sea in a boat and dumped it.

"She said, 'I got your number from Joran, because he said your name is going to show up in the press, but I know it's not true. It doesn't fit the story, so you've got to do something about it. You've got to give me proof [of his whereabouts in May 2005], so I can put it in the newspaper ... here in Holland."

Rodriguez, who grew up on Aruba and played soccer with Van der Sloot when both men were teenagers, said he was angry that his name had been dragged into the case.

He said he met with detectives investigating Holloway's disappearance on Monday morning, and that he told them he was living in Rotterdam, Holland in May 2005, when Holloway went missing.

Rodriguez retained an Aruban lawyer when he realized he was implicated in the case, and said he asked the biographer to put him in touch with Van der Sloot, but she refused.

Van der Sloot apparently logged on to an online instant messaging service over the weekend, and Rodriguez said he confronted him and demanded to know why he'd been named as an accomplice.

"So, I was online, and he comes online, and I was like, 'Yo, what's wrong with you, man. Why did you do that?' And he's like, 'I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't know what I was talking about. I'm so sorry.' And I said, you know, 'What the f---? Sorry? Don't say that! That's [b.s.]. You're putting me in trouble for nothing.'"

Rodriguez said he played soccer with Van der Sloot when the pair were about 16 years old, and that, while he knew him as an acquaintance, he would never call him a friend.

He said they played poker together at a local casino late last year after Van der Sloot was released from his second arrest.

Rodriguez's attorney Chris Lejuez said his client was born in Colombia, but moved to Aruba as a child when his mother married an Aruban man. Lejuez said Rodriguez moved to Rotterdam to attend trade school in 2004, and stayed on through June or July of 2007, working there.

Rodriguez returned to Aruba in January and December of 2005 for vacation, but was not on the island for months before or after Holloway's disappearance.

He told ABC News he never owned a boat. "I never had one, and I don't have one,'' he said.

Asked how he could prove his whereabouts during 2005, Rodriguez said that ATMs he had used in Rotterdam could show he was there in May 2005.

Lejuez said he provided investigators with the name of the trade school Rodriguez had attended and the company he later worked for in Rotterdam.

Police searched the home of Van der Sloot, Monday, one day after an undercover video was broadcast on Dutch TV, in which he bragged about having a friend dump the apparently lifeless body of Natalee Holloway at sea.