Thursday, September 29, 2005

Joe Mammana and Beth plan strategy


Will retain local lawyer to get Aruba to move on case of missing Natalee Holloway


Entire Article:

BETH TWITTY, mother of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, missing in Aruba, plans to meet today with an international attorney in Philadelphia to see if there is anything more she can do to find her missing daughter.

Twitty, on her way here last night in a limousine provided by businessman and philanthropist Joe Mammana, who has contributed $250,000 in reward money in Natalee's case, declined to name the attorney.

"I want to see what my options are, and how do I go about pursuing those," Twitty said.

Natalee, 18, an honors student, hasn't been seen since May 30, the night before she and other students from her Alabama high school were to return home from a senior week trip to the Caribbean island.

Aruban authorities arrested seven men in her disappearance. including two Surinamese brothers and their friend, Dutch teen Jaron Van der Sloot, 17. They were last seen leaving a bar with Holloway the night of her disappearance.

Van der Sloot allegedly has given conflicting statements to Aruban authorities.

All seven have been released, four of them, including van der Sloot's father, a magistrate, early in the investigation.

Van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe were released on Sept. 3.

"They did it [released the young men] under the cloak of Katrina," when national attention was drawn away from Holloway's case by the hurricane, Mammana said angrily. He said he has been involved in the case almost since it's inception, after learning about it on KYW radio, and talked daily with Twitty when she was in Aruba and "several times a week" to her husband.

Mammana has provided numerous rewards in cases of crime victims and missing persons, among them LaToyia Figueroa, the missing pregnant Philadelphia woman later found slain, allegedly by the father of her child.

Mammana said he would take Twitty before City Council at its weekly session tomorrow . "They want to acknowledge her. I'm going to bring her in with Councilman Jack Kelly," he said.

Van der Sloot is now studying at a university in Amsterdam.

Twitty said last night she would travel to Holland to publicize the case.

"We've had reward posters printed in Dutch. We wanted to make sure it's out in Amsterdam and in the Hague," she said. Aruba is a Dutch protectorate.

"We are so determined," Twitty said. "We just feel like if we just continue, that something will break." She said she wanted to put pressure on Aruban judicial officials to go further with the case.

"These three young men cannot commit the perfect crime," Twitty said.

She said she believed enough pressure would crack one of the suspects "and we will finally find out what happened to Natalee and where she is.

"Twitty said her family still has hope that Natalee will be found safe. "It doesn't look good, but as parents you always have that hope. It's what keeps you going."

Twitty said she feared van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers kidnapped Natalee, "raped her and murdered her. I'm certain they drugged her. That's my worst-case scenario.

"We know the facts. All three of these men have admitted to having sex with her, that constitutes a gang rape."

Van der Sloot and the brothers originally told investigators they had dropped Holloway off at her hotel the night of her disappearance, prompting authorities to arrest two security guards.

Van der Sloot later said he had been on a beach with Holloway but had left her, unharmed.

Dutch Marines, Aruban police and thousands of volunteers have scoured the tiny island, which says has about 71,000 residents, but have found no sign of Holloway. Searching by divers was going on as recently as several days ago but has turned up nothing, Twitty said authorities had told her.

"They're telling me the case is open," she said.

Twitty said previously the investigation by Aruban officials showed a "level of ineptness [that] has been incredible."

Yesterday, Twitty said she believed Natalee's case had been "mishandled. I would say that there is some level of collusion and corruption that has been going on in the investigation."

Mammana called Aruba "a Third World ghetto," where crimes against American tourists go unreported, and said he planned to help Twitty launch a nationwide boycott of the Caribbean nation.

Mammana, a businessman whose investments include suburban real estate and dairy and egg farming, said he would help Twitty find lawyers to press Aruban authorities to go on with the case.

"We're going to hound and harass these people forever," he said.

"The Aruban government and anybody else involved with this, that we feel did not cooperate and help us."

"We're not doing this for money," Mammana said.

"We're doing this for revenge. Forget justice."



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