An ongoing probe into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway has found that the missing woman's remains may have been mixed with canine bones in order to throw off investigators.
In June 2005, Holloway vanished while on vacation in Aruba. Joran van der Sloot, the primary suspect in the disappearance, was never charged in the case but was later sentenced to 28 years for the murder of Stephany Flores in Peru. Joran killed Flores in June 2010, on the five-year-anniversary of Holloway's disappearance.
Aruban authorities have since closed the investigation into Holloway's disappearance, but the search for her body was renewed by her father Dave Holloway, who hired private investigator T.J. Ward. Dave was drawn to spearhead a sting operation when a source named Gabriel told him that he had befriended John Ludwick, a former roommate of Joran.
"[Gabriel] said: 'Look, I've been in contact with someone who's apparently directly involved in the disappearance of your daughter,'" Dave told Fox News. The bereaved father added: "I asked T.J. to look into this and get more information and determine whether or not we should pursue it ... He met up with Gabriel, interviewed him, and told me: 'Dave, this guy knows enough. We've got to pursue this until the end.'"
Gabriel asserted that Ludwick had told him what had happened on the night of Holloway's disappearance. The 18-year-old Alabama woman reportedly died from a fatal reaction to a drug that Joran had allegedly used to spike her drink. Joran's late father, Paulus van der Sloot, allegedly helped him bury Holloway's body in an Aruban park.
On Sept. 2, it was disclosed that Ludwick had told Gabriel that Joran later asked him to dig up the remains and dispose of them. Gabriel recorded the conversation without Ludwick's knowledge and the exchange was aired on a Oxygen special, "The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway."
Ludwick alleged that Joran offered him $1,500 to dispose of Holloway's remains. Ludwick also alleged that Joran dug up Holloway's remains, added dog bones to the pile to obfuscate their origin, and handed them off to him to cremate and scatter the asses into the ocean.
"It didn't happen to my kid," Ludwick told Gabriel. "Could have thrown it in the ocean, could flushed it down the toilet. I don't give a s**t."
Dave and Ward have announced that materials discovered near the site where Holloway was allegedly buried have tested positive for human remains. The initial DNA test indicated that the remains belonged to someone of Eastern European descent.
"When we determined these remains were human, I was shocked," Dave told "Today."
"I know there's a possibility this could be someone else, and I'm just trying to wait and see," Dave added.
On Sept. 7, it was disclosed that Beth Holloway, Natalee's mother, had submitted a saliva sample to help determine whether the remains belonged to her long-missing daughter.
"So far all the indicators are that these bone fragments are the human remains of a young female, consistent with someone of Eastern European descent," a source familiar with the testing told The Daily Mail.
The source added: "It will be agonizing if Dave and Beth are told this is their daughter, but after 12 years of searching for answers it will be a huge deal for them -- it might finally bring them closure."