Couple Snaps Skeleton Pic in Aruba: Natalee Holloway? - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Couple Snaps Skeleton Pic in Aruba: Natalee Holloway?

Pa. couple snaps pic of skeleton where Natalee Holloway went missing

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    Couple Snaps Skeleton Pic in Aruba: Natalee Holloway?
    Patti Muldowney
    This is the photo Patti Muldowney snapped while snorkeling in Aruba during her vacation in November, 2009. Patti and her husband John want investigators to see if the photo shows the remains of Natalee Holloway who disappeared on a high school graduation trip in 2005.

    A Pennsylvania couple thinks they may have found Natalee Holloway's skeleton on a vacation to Aruba.

    Patti and John Muldowney want investigators to take a good look at a picture they took while snorkeling.

    It shows what they think is a skeleton on the bottom of the ocean.
     
    Patti didn't notice anything out of the ordinary when she snapped the photo last fall. No one raised a red flag until mid-January when they met up with a couple that was on the same cruise, to compare vacation photos.
     
    "They came over and discovered it when they were looking through our photos," the Lancaster County man told NBC Philadelphia.


    UPDATE: Natalee Holloway's dad tells couple to share their photo with the world.


    They showed the photo to friends, police, even a doctor and everyone agreed it looked like a human skeleton. John wondered if it could be the remains of Natalee Holloway, 18, who disappeared in 2005 during a high school graduation trip.

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    "This body is laying on its back," John, 78, said as he traced over the picture with his finger. He pointed out what he believes to be parts of a skeleton.
     
    The Natalee Holloway case has yet to be solved. Joran van der Sloot, the son of a Dutch diplomat,  was allegedly the last person to see Holloway, and he told authorities that Holloway died and he dumped her body in the ocean. He later said he sold Holloway as a sex slave. Van der Sloot's stories could not be confirmed by police and he was never charged in the case because Aruban prosecutors said they didn't have enough evidence.
     
    John thought it couldn't hurt to send the photo to Holloway's family and investigators. He mailed a copy to her biological father and says he hasn't heard back.

    We contacted Beth Twitty, Holloway's mother, asking if she had seen the photo. Her attorney said they are aware of it's existence, but did not want to offer comment.
     
    John's efforts to get the picture to the right people connected to the case have been frustrating.
     
    "I've called Quantico so much the receptionist said, 'We've got to stop meeting like this,' " he told the Intelligencer Journal.
     
    John sent the photo to the FBI in Philadelphia in February.

    As time passed without word, the man called the FBI after hearing that van der Sloot's dad had died of a heart attack and that the case was being reopened after van der Sloot told a TV reporter another story, in which he disposed of Holloway's body in a swamp after she accidentally fell from a balcony.

    "I called Philadelphia and [asked] 'What are you doing,'" he told NBC Philadelphia Thursday. Their response was "We can't tell you, we're not allowed to tell you."

    The FBI did tell NBC Philadelphia that the photo is on its way to the agency's bureau in Bridgetown, Barbados. That office handles cases for many Caribbean countries including Aruba, Special Agent Frank Burton, Jr. said.

    The man admits it's easy to think the discovery could be Holloway's body because all of the media coverage. Whether it is or isn't, he's convinced it's not a rock formation.

    "It's somebody," he said. "You know somebody might get closure outta this. It would be great if they could."

    The FBI will be following up with John and Patti to learn more information.