14 years ago, Natalee Holloway went missing while on vacation in the Carribean. Back in May of 2005, Natalee had just graduated from high school. She was 18-years-old. She was an excellent student: part of the National Honor Society and she also was very involved in the school’s dance team.
Natalee dreamed of being a doctor and had been accepted into the University of Alabama to study pre-med on a full-ride scholarship. However, her dreams were tragically cut short before she could make it there. She would never return home from her vacation celebration.
Natalee’s strange disappearance made international headlines. There was even a movie made about her in 2009. We’re all still left with more questions than answers about what really happened to this beautiful American teenager who vanished while on vacation, but here is everything you need to know, below.
Facebook; pictured above Natalee smiles big while wearing a sequined outfit
Natalee was born in Clinton, Mississippi, along with her younger brother Matthew. After their parents divorced, their mom Beth raised them alone before remarrying a well-known businessman from Alabama.
Beth moved her children to Mountain Brook, Alabama to live with her and her new husband, George Twitty.
Mountain Brook is located just outside Birmingham and is well known for being an affluent and safe area to live.
Natalee attended the local school district, where Beth worked and graduated with honors from Mountain Brook High School.
Wikipedia; pictured above is Natalee’s senior photo from her yearbook
Natalee and 124 of her fellow classmates decided to take a trip to celebrate their graduation from high school. So, they took a trip to Aruba for a five-day vacation and left on Thursday, May 26th, 2005.
They had seven adult chaperones with them on the trip, and nobody suspected anything would go wrong with several reliable adults to help supervise so many 18-year-olds (and a handful of 17-year-olds).
Bob Plummer, a teacher at the high school, went on the trip as a chaperone and he later told the media that all of the chaperones met with every single student every single day to check-in and make sure they were all ok.
The organizer of the trip, Jodi Bearman, later stated that the job of the chaperones though was not to keep up with every single move each student made.
How could 7 adults stay on top of nearly 130 students at all times? It simply wasn’t possible.
Given that pretty much all of the students were legally adults, it was up to them to make their own choices.
Gerold Dompig, the Police Commissioner who was in charge of the investigation from 2005 to 2006, said in a statement that the students on the trip spent their time engaging in:
Facebook; Natalee is pictured above in a candid moment smiling wide
“Wild partying, a lot of drinking, lots of room switching every night. We know the Holiday Inn told them they weren’t welcome next year. Natalee, we know, she drank all day every day. We have statements she started every morning with cocktails—so much drinking that Natalee didn’t show up for breakfast two mornings.”
Two of Natalee’s friends and classmates on the trip, Claire Fierman and Liz Cain, said that Natalee really did drink excessively every day.