8 Year Anniversery for Natalee Holloway Disappearance

Today marks the eight year anniversary of the disappearance of Natalee Holloway during her high school graduation trip to Aruba. Natalee’s body has never been recovered and she was ultimately declared legally dead by an Alabama judge on January 12, 2012. For those not familiar with the case, the full details can be found here.

This case in particular piqued my interest in missing persons cases for a number of reasons. For the first time as a parent, I saw the vulnerability of being separated from your child. The fact this took place outside the United States combined with the lackluster investigation tactics by the Aruban authorities made me re-consider my family’s safety when traveling abroad.

To this day, I’ve never witnessed such extensive media coverage over a missing person. While some additional coverage could be attributed to the rise of the internet and transformation of local news stations to the giant cable networks we know today, a large part of this unprecedented coverage was simply sensationalized journalism used to generate ratings. Missing persons cases SHOULD be covered extensively by the media, but all cases need to be treated equally. During this time, I began to do my own research and discovered thousands of people are reported missing every day and receive little to no media attention.

The circumstances and outcome around Natalee Holloway’s disappearance are extremely tragic and unfortunate. Although nothing will ever offset the loss of this young woman, there were some positive outcomes in the case. Natalee’s mother, Beth Holloway became an advocate for safe international travel and missing persons. She founded the International Safe Travels Foundation to educate the public on traveling safely to foreign countries. Beth also started the Natalee Holloway Resource Center to aid families of missing persons. Lastly, Beth hosts a weekly television program on Lifetime titled “Vanished with Beth Holloway” which examines unsolved cases in the United States.

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