It sounds like police aren’t any closer to figuring out where Natalee Holloway is than they were when the 18-year-old disappeared in 2005. But a 2017 Oxygen docuseries called The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway claimed investigators found bone fragments that might've been hers. Now, Natalee’s mother, Beth Holloway, has sued Oxygen Media over the TV show, alleging it was just a charade.
Natalee had just graduated from high school in Mountain Brook, AL, when she went on a class trip to Aruba and disappeared. She’s never been found, and no one has been charged in her case. She was last seen in the company of Aruban locals Joran van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe, and Satish Kalpoe, all of whom have been arrested multiple times, but never charged. In 2012, a judge acting on behalf of Dave Holloway, Natalee’s father and Beth’s ex-husband, declared Natalee legally dead.
Joran, who's currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for the 2010 murder of a Peruvian woman, apparently confessed to killing Natalee in a 2016 video. But Natalee’s father, Dave Holloway, said it was likely just a publicity stunt, especially because verbal confessions mean nothing in Aruba.
Now, Beth is suing Oxygen Media and production Brian Garden Media over last summer’s TV show, claiming it caused her weeks of anguish. In the six-part series, Dave tries to track down more information about his missing daughter, and investigators even find bone fragments. DNA testing on those fragments proved they weren’t Natalee’s, and Beth’s lawsuit alleges producers knew that all along.
Oxygen has defended the series. “We had hoped, along with Mr. Holloway, that the information was going to provide closure,” the company said in a statement. “We cannot comment further on ongoing litigation.”
Even if they lose the lawsuit, Oxygen still scored a ratings win. The first episode of The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway attracted a total of 1.1 million viewers, making the episode Oxygen’s best-rated true crime premiere.