The best friend of Joran Van der Sloot has claimed that he helped burn the skull of Natalee Holloway in a cave.
John Ludwick’s shocking claim comes to light in episode five of ‘The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,’ which aired on Oxygen on Saturday.
Ludwick, a friend of Van der Sloot’s, said he helped the prime suspect in her death.
Ludwick agreed to talk after an informant provided evidence that he had been paid by Van der Sloot to dig up the body of the 18-year-old, who disappeared in Aruba on May 30, 2005.
The plan, according to Ludwick, was to try to get her remains cremated.
But in order to comply with Aruba’s laws about cremation, the pair, according to Lucwick, hoped to crush her bones to the point where they would not be recognizably human.
He said: ‘The idea was to crush everything to the point where it wasn’t recognizable as her bones or skull or anything like that.’
The skull was somehow burned in this process, Ludwick claims. The rest of her body was not burned.
Back in August, DailyMail.com revealed that human remains found at a site in Aruba where Holloway may have been buried belonged to a young woman of eastern European descent.
The breakthrough, made during the early stages of DNA testing, meant the Holloway family – which has eastern European heritage- may be one step closer to finding out the agonizing truth behind their daughter’s disappearance.
The initial finding is still to be confirmed by further testing, which might be confirmed by October.
Holloway, from Mountain Brook, Alabama, vanished while on a trip to celebrate her high school graduation.
She was last seen by her classmates leaving a nightclub with Van der Sloot – a then 17-year-old Dutch honors student living on the tropical island. No trace of her body has ever been found.
Now her father Dave Holloway believes the discovery of human remains – the result of a tip-off investigated by his private investigator TJ Ward – could be the lead they have been waiting for this past 12 years.
Experts had been conducting a mitochondrial DNA test (mtDNA test) on the remains at a reputable, undisclosed lab in the US, a source said.
The mtDNA test traces a person’s matrilineal or mother-line ancestry using the DNA in his or her mitochondria – a structure that sits inside the human cell.
This type of DNA is passed down by the mother unchanged, to all her children, both male and female.
If the mtDNA inside the bone fragments matches that in the saliva provided by Beth Holloway, that will be conclusive evidence that Natalee’s remains have been found.
The information that led investigators to the remains came from an informant named Gabriel, a former roommate of Ludwick.
Van der Sloot – who is currently in prison in Peru serving a 28-year sentence for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old business student Stephany Flores Ramírez – has long been a suspect in Natalee’s disappearance.
Gabriel told Dave Holloway that, according to Ludwick, his daughter was buried in a park near her hotel on the island – a sequence of events that marked one of the biggest breaks in the 12-year history of the case.
Ludwick apparently told Gabriel that van der Sloot disposed of Natalee’s body with help from his father Paulus, a judge on the island, after the teen choked to death on her own vomit soon after she was given a drink that had been spiked with GHB. Paulus has since died.
Van der Sloot revealed his actions to Ludwick, who then repeated the information to Gabriel while the two were living together in recent years.
SOURCE: Daily Mail