The mysterious disappearance of Natalee Holloway from Aruba 12 years ago has once again captured the nation’s attention after her father came forward with a possible new break in the case. Dave Holloway revealed that a private investigation found human remains at an undisclosed location in Aruba.

The remains were sent for DNA testing to determine whether they belonged to Natalee. Dave Holloway called the remains the “most credible lead” he’s followed in the past 12 years. Aruba Public Prosecutor Dorean Kardol, however, said there was no truth in the findings revealed by her father.

“During an investigation by police in the area indicated by Mr. Holloway, we found remains, but they were found to be from animals,”Kardol told HuffPost Friday.

30010_125690517449434_7694658_n Natalee Holloway disappeared 12 years ago during a trip to Aruba. Photo: Facebook/Natalee Holloway Resource Center

Natalee’s father, on the other hand, explicitly said during a television appearance last week that the remains had been determined to be human. He appeared the “Today” show to discuss the debut of his new television show “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway.”

Dave Holloway said the remains were the result of an 18-month investigation conducted by him and TJ Ward, a private investigator. But Kardol said that even if they were determined to be Natalee’s, the removal of the remains would be an insurmountable legal hurdle.

“If we wanted to take the case to court, we would be in trouble because we could not use that evidence,” Kardol told HuffPost, noting that tampering with evidence would render prosecution essentially ineffective.

Natalee’s father, however, stood by his claim that the remains were human.

“They are in the testing process,” he told HuffPost. “It’s a reputable lab and that’s all I can tell you at this point.”

Dave Holloway also told HuffPost that Ward had “evidence and a report” from the lab and that the prosecutor’s statement was misleading. A spokesperson for the FBI told the publication they had been unable to find any record of human remains being brought to the United States from Aruba in connection with Natalee’s disappearance.

Natalee, 18 at the time of her disappearance, was officially declared dead in 2012. Her body was never recovered. Joran van der Sloot, who is serving a 28-year-prison sentence in Peru for a separate murder, remains the primary suspect in the case.

RTR2W5CX Joran van der Sloot enters court in Lima, Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot remains the primary suspect in Natalee Holloway's disappearance. Photo: Reuters