This is tragic. The human remains found in Aruba — believed to belong to Natalee Holloway — have been tested, and it’s been determined that they are not a match to the gorgeous blonde, who went missing in 2005 when she was only 18. Forensic scientist Dr. Jason Kolowski — who has been coordinating the testing on behalf of Oxygen’s series The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway confirmed the test was negative. He explained, “Out of four individual bone samples only one was found to be human. The mitochondrial DNA bone sample was not a match to [her mother] Beth Holloway, and so it was ruled out as being Natalee Holloway.”

The discovery of the human remains were made after an informant named Gabriel alerted Natalee’s father, Dave Holloway, and family investigator T.J. Ward of new information related to Natalee’s disappearance. The informant told Dave and T.J. that Joran van der Sloot — long suspected to be involved in Natalee’s disappearance — was present in her final moments, during which she choked on her own vomit and died, after which his father helped bury her body. The new information led the investigation to the human remains, which Dave later told In Touch was the most promising lead the family received in years.

In an exclusive interview with In Touch, Dave explained how he decided not to share any additional information he may receive with his family until he was confident that it could make a difference in the investigation — and he believed the information provided by Gabriel could’ve made a crack in the cold case. He revealed that a 2015 lead about the Marriott Hotel led to a crushing blow for Natalee’s loved ones — and at that point, he swore he wouldn’t put his family through the emotionally exhausting process of chasing a lead only to be disappointed again. Dave exclusively told In Touch, “How many of those things can you go through? I swore to myself — right then — that I would never involve my family and lay their emotions out on a lead ever again. And when this one came up, I briefly mentioned it and I slapped my mouth. I said, ‘Look, no matter what, I can’t bring my family into this and expose them to another potential devastation.’ So T.J. and I kept it among ourselves, and I said to myself, ‘If anyone is going to take the fall for this, it’s going to be me. I’m not going allow my family to even know about this and even get involved emotionally only to be crushed again.’”

With news that the DNA found in Aruba doesn’t match Natalee’s, her case continues to be a cold case. We hope the family gets the closure they so desperately seek.

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