DNA Found in Aruba Being Tested in Natalee Holloway Case

NEW YORK, N.Y. - DNA recently found in Aruba is being tested as part of the 12-year investigation into the disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway.

The missing teen's father appeared on NBC's TODAY Wednesday to share details.

Dave Holloway and private investigator T.J. Ward told show hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie that their 18-month investigation led to the discovery it's hoped will yield a major break in the case of what happened to his daughter.

"When we determined these remains were human, I was shocked," Holloway said. "I know there's a possibility this could be someone else, and I'm just trying to wait and see."

Natalee Holloway vanished in May 2005 while on a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island. The case has remained an unsolved mystery and no one has ever been charged in her disappearance.

Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch man Natalee was last seen with outside a popular tourist bar, is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for killing business student Stephany Flores. She died on the fifth anniversary of Holloway's disappearance in 2010.

An informant known as "Gabriel" put Ward and Holloway in contact with a man they claim had direct knowledge of Natalee's disappearance.

"We have a person who states he was directly involved with Joran van der Sloot in disposing of Natalee's remains," Holloway added. "I thought, you know, there may be something to this. We've chased a lot of leads and this one is by far the most credible lead I've seen in the last 12 years."

The men have been back and forth to an unspecified location behind a house in Aruba that was provided to them by the informant, ultimately digging up remains that were found to be human after they were tested. The DNA test will take several weeks to a month to determine if they are Natalee's remains, Holloway said.

A year after Natalee's mother said on TODAY that "justice has not been served" in Natalee's death, her father is hoping for some closure if the remains are determined to be his daughter.

"It would finally be the end," he said.

At the time of Holloway's disappearance, her grandmother Ann Reynolds was living in Arkansas (Pine Bluff), where Holloway's mother (Beth Holloway-Twitty) also grew up. Reynolds died in 2014.

Click here to watch Holloway's TODAY interview.

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