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. On the last day of the trip, Monday, May 30th, around 1:30 in the morning was the last time anyone saw Natalee again.
Classmates of Natalee’s say that they saw her leave a local bar and get into a silver car with several young men, but these men were not people they knew. They were not people they had gone to school with.
Facebook; in the photo above Natalee smiles next to her mom while wearing her cap and gown from graduation