Twelve years after Natalee Holloway vanished without a trace while on vacation in Aruba, her father said authorities on the island botched the investigation into his daughter’s disappearance. Appearing alongside Nancy Grace on an episode of “Nightline” this week, Dave Holloway was asked whether he thought Aruban authorities handled the case properly.

 “No,” he said. “Because they took their eyes off the last three people that were known to be with Natalee.”

The three people in question are Joran van der Sloot, a Dutch man, and Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, two Surinamese brothers. Natalee was last seen leaving a bar and getting in a car with the three men on the last night of her trip. The Kalpoe brothers were each arrested three times but released for a lack of evidence. Van der Sloot, who remains the primary suspect in Natalee’s death, was arrested twice before he was ultimately released for lack of evidence.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Natalee’s disappearance, a friend who was also on the trip said last week that Van der Sloot was “one thousand percent” present the night Natalee went missing.

Natalee Holloway was officially declared dead in 2012.

Van der Sloot himself remains behind bars for a separate murder: he admitted to killing 21-year-old business student Stephany Flores in Peru five years to the day after Natalee disappeared. Flores reportedly found files relating to Natalee on Van der Sloot’s computer, leading him to kill her. The United States said it would seek to extradite Van der Sloot for questioning in relation to Natalee’s disappearance when he was released from Peruvian prison.

Nancy Grace agreed Aruban authorities had bungled the investigation.

“Little did they know, they weren’t just looking for a kidnapper or a killer,” said Grace. “They were up against the whole Aruban government.”

Aruban prosecutors officially closed the case in 2007. They reopened the investigation within the year after Van der Sloot appeared to confess to killing Natalee in a hidden camera interview.

“I just think that I’m incredibly lucky that she’s never been found,” said Van der Sloot. “Because if they find that girl I’m in deep s***.”

Van der Sloot later recanted his statement and authorities once again closed the case. Natalee’s father, however, never stopped investigating. In an appearance on the “Today” show to discuss his new television series “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway” last week, he announced that a private investigation yielded human remains that could belong to Natalee.

“When we determined these remains were human, I was shocked,” he said. “I know there’s a possibility this could be someone else and I’m just trying to wait and see.”

The contentious relationship between the Holloways and Aruban authorities persists to this day: Aruban Public Prosecutor Dorean Kardol disputed the claim that new human remains were uncovered.

“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.

Holloway, however, stood by his claim.

“We’ve chased a lot of leads,” he said. “This one is by far the most credible lead I’ve seen in the last 12 years.”

RTR2W5C2 Joran van der Sloot, shown here in Peruvian court Jan. 11, 2012, remains the primary suspect in Natalee Holloway's disappearance. Photo: Reuters