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Last updated: 17 January, 2006 - Published 22:15 GMT
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Aruba 'close to solving' case
picture of the missing student
Natalee Holloway was last seen on May 30, 2005
Aruban authorities believe they are close to making a breakthrough in the case of missing American teenager Natalee Holloway.

Spokesman for the Aruban government, former CBS journalist Steve Cohen, is predicting a closure to the case in the next six months.

He says investigators are focusing on proving the case against three young men who had been held as suspects, and who are known to have interacted with the US student.

Mr Cohen expects one or all three suspects - Dutch national Joran van der Sloot and Surinamese brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe - to be charged for rape and murder.

Officials have apparently decide to focus their investigations more closely on the three.

Case to be presented soon

"we're pretty much at the end of the investigation of that scenario all the pieces of that jig-saw puzzle are now infront of us, and we are beginning to see a picture now, that was not a picture that we saw three of four months ago," Mr Cohen told BBC Caribbean.

He says he's optimistic that they'll be able to wrap up their current probe and be able to present a case to the judge "in the next few weeks or a few months".

Aruba police have been searching sand dunes on the northwest coast of the island for Natalee Holloway.

More than fifty police officers began searching a one square mile area on Monday.

The search was suspended Tuesday, but the authorities say they might resume on Thursday.

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