News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2005

Dutch suspectís father released in Aruba
Disc jockey freed on lack of proof

By Peter Prengaman
Associated Press Writer

ORANJESTAD, Aruba — The father of a Dutch suspect arrested in the disappearance of an Alabama honors student in Aruba has been freed from jail, his wife said Sunday.

Anita van der Sloot said the most important thing for her now "is that my son comes (out) free."

No immediate comment was available from officials about the release of Paul van der Sloot, 52, a high-ranking justice official who is studying to be a judge on the Dutch Caribbean island. He was arrested Thursday as a suspect for collaborating in a crime with his son, according to his lawyer A.J. Swan.

"A little bit of the nightmare clouds are now disappearing," his wife told The Associated Press. "This is a happy moment for our family. The truth will always come forward. From the beginning I trusted everything would be fine."

Earlier Sunday, a judge also ordered Aruban police to release a party boat disc jockey held in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, saying authorities did not have enough evidence against him, the man's lawyer said.

Steven Gregory Croes, 26, was one of five people held in the case of the 18-year-old young woman last seen in the early hours of May 30. No one has been charged in the case, including the last person reportedly seen with her, 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot.

Searches for Holloway have been fruitless.

"The judge agreed there is not enough proof he was involved to keep holding him," said Croes' lawyer, Eleni Lotter-Homan.

Croes, who was detained June 17, will be released today, Lotter-Homan said. He is a disc jockey on the party boat Tattoo, which offers nightly dining, dancing and swimming and docks near the Holiday Inn hotel where Holloway had been staying.

Still in jail are the young van der Sloot and his friends, Surinamese brothers Deepak Kalpoe, 21, and Satish Kalpoe, 18. Under Dutch law that pertains in the island, a suspect can be held for up to 116 days without charge if a judge decides police have good reason.

After a night of eating, drinking and dancing at Carlos' N' Charlie's restaurant, the three men initially told police they took Holloway to a northern beach before dropping her off at her hotel around 2 a.m.

But on Saturday, Satish Kalpoe's lawyer said his client admitted that his story was a lie.

Satish now claims that he and brother dropped Holloway and van der Sloot off together at a beach near the Marriott hotel, then went home, said lawyer David Kock.

On Sunday, Kock said the brothers were becoming increasingly angry with van der Sloot and accusing him of changing his story to put the blame for Holloway's disappearance on them. Kock would not elaborate.

Anita van der Sloot said her son had told her that he was alone on a beach with Holloway, and left her there unharmed in the early hours of the day she vanished.

Van der Sloot's lawyer, Antonio Carlo, said Sunday, "My client maintains his innocence."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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