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PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:03 am 
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Bonaire Fears A Natalee Holloway Repeat

Marlies van der Kouwe
missing in Bonaire as of
September 21st 2008.

KRALENDIJK-The neighbouring Dutch island of Bonaire is in a state of shock and disbelief after the
mysterious disappearance of 24-year-old Dutch intern Marlies van der Kouwe. Marlies disappeared
last Sunday night after a party with friends at Karen's Beach. She left the party alone on a bike at
01:30 in the morning, heading north for the sub division of Hato.

Marlies was being followed by two men on a scooter while riding on her bike, according to eye
witnesses. When she passed alongside the Water and Energy Plant of the island, she was pulled
off violently from the bike by one of the men and carried away on the scooter.

A security guard at the plant said he heard a scream at night. Police later found the scooter near
some scrubs, but no trace of Marlies and her abductors. Marlies did not consume alcohol that night,
according to the bartender at Karen's Beach.

A team of 50 Dutch and Antillean investigators and police flew to the island to investigate the
disappearance. Authorities on the island fear the worse, but without a body it is thus far a case of

Van der Kouwe’s parents reside in The Netherlands and were informed by authorities on the
disappearance of their daughter. "The family is shocked and very saddened by the news" says
Peter Wadners, an uncle of Marlies. "We just hope that Marlies appears alive somewhere on the
island, we do not want to think on a worse case scenario as of yet."

A thorough search was conducted on the island last Tuesday. Helicopters and cars scanned the
island for the missing 24-year-old. Ships and the Coast Guard patrolled the shoreline without

Bonaire fears a repeat of the missing American teen Natalee Holloway, who disappeared while on
vacation in Aruba in May of 2005. The disappearance of Natalee Holloway and the aftermath
thereof has affected tourism and gave Aruba much bad press. Bonaire does not want to think on a
Natalee Holloway scenario, a case that is still unsolved.

Bonaire is one and a half times larger than Aruba, and has an estimated 18,000 inhabitants (that
is one sixth of the Aruban population). Bonaire is overall a very quiet island, compared to the
bustling mass tourism destination of Aruba. The main industry in Bonaire is dive tourism,
attracting mainly European visitors.

Marlies van der Kouwe was born on the Dutch island of Curacao, and was brought up in The
Netherlands. Her father had a medical practice in Bonaire, but eventually left for The Netherlands
as well. Marlies arrived on the island on August for an internship at Pharmacy Bonaire that would
last for six months.


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