There is not a lot to be gained by simply reiterating the facts and the findings for those following the Natalee Holloway case. The inconsistencies and the obfuscations are common knowledge. There is nothing for the media to slather over and all those who had their moments of fame are now fading just as the fate of Natalee becomes conjecture and lament. But the question remains ( as it did when the investigation was in full swing), what happened to Natalee?
No body or remains were ever discovered. Not a trace! You would think this would spur someone ( especially a loved one ) to review the situation and wonder if the fundamental premises and strategy of the investigation were flawed. But no one has and it looks like no one will. And what would motivate them to do so? The one thought that Natalee may be alive and in such a situation that she cannot communicate her plight. Can you imagine the frustration she would feel knowing she was not dead but being treated as if she were. It would be the equivalent of being buried alive, except it would be more prolonged and infinitely more discouraging and disappointing. Imagine every day wondering why someone doesn’t see you or recognize you and report your location to authorities. Imagine the hurt you would feel of being abandoned. Imagine she escaped and confronted the loved ones who gave her up for dead. And the question that would haunt them, “ Why did you think I was dead? You knew I was missing, but dead? Why? What evidence did you have that I had been killed or died? Why didn’t you look for me instead of my body?”
The authorities who had a part in this disappearance and the playboy that knows something pertinent, but won’t talk, have had the pressure relieved by the passage of time and the growing apathy that produces sighs of resignation. This lack of pressure brought on by following a false premise will only lead to others disappearing. Success in crime only leads to more crime. If for no other reason than prevention of future crimes should the case not be allowed to go dormant. But the real reason it shouldn’t is because there is a chance, slim as it might be, that Natalee is alive and hoping against all hope that she will be discovered and rescued. This is the hope of all missing persons. This is what our soldiers experienced in prisoner of war camps. No one knew if they were alive or dead but it was the perseverance of both captive and loved ones that made reunion possible. Natalee deserves no less. Wringing hands and tears will not discover her. Visualizing her dead will not rescue her. Simply hoping is not the equivalent of taking positive action.
The pieces of the puzzle do not fit and if no one is interested enough to portray the only way they will fit, the crime will go unsolved and a young girl will possibly perish needlessly. And think of the anguish experienced if in the future it was found out she lived for several years as a captive and was never found because no one looked for anything but a corpse. This is the scenario that cannot be reconciled or forgiven. And if there is any chance this is how this mystery will play out ( and there is such a chance) why would anyone want to experience such misery?
As has been pointed out repeatedly in this column, problem solving techniques were poorly utilized in this investigation and a conclusion reached by erroneous premises. Yet the stalemate continues and no one that should be interested in correcting this has come forward and asked, “ What if Natalee isn’t dead?” Doesn’t this strike you as strange? Millions have not given up on missing persons but in this case the trend is gridlocked with a finality that has not been proven. Eventually if Natalee is not dead there will be a time when all doubt and hope will disappear. But that is not now. Natalee was young and she deserves more than the preconceived notion she was killed. There is little chance this column will be slipped under her locked door but if the voices of outrage can squelch the conniving of O.J Simpson, surely voices can be raised and demand justice and the recognition of the possible life of Natalee Holloway. For if it were you dear reader, ask yourself what response you would be most disappointed with if you were kidnapped and restrained. Given up for dead is no one’s dream.