In early 2008, a person who identified himself as Marcos sent Dave a message claiming he knew drug addicts had been paid to get rid of Natalee’s body at sea, but instead took the remains to Nicaragua and hid them on land. Private investigator Tim Miller went to Nicaragua when he forwarded Dateline and met with Marcos, who offered to go into hiding with a GPS tracker and look for the remains.

Instead, Marco disappeared.

When Dave was contacted by a man named in 2016 GabrielDave, who said he had information on Natalee’s remains, asked TJ to check the tip – as he had done with so many other alleged sightings, snippets of information, and ultimately dead ends they had received over the years.

“So we thought, well, maybe we have something here because I had so many false leads, people who just wanted to take you away,” recalled Dave, who had also gone to Aruba with TJ in 2015 to find another one Meeting person who falsely claimed to have information about Natalee’s fate. “I thought, OK, that might be a new clue … let’s go ahead and see if we can develop it. That turned into a situation that was a little bigger than expected.”

This resulted in the hiring of a manufacturing company that, most importantly, would be able to allocate resources for the substantial cost of returning to Aruba and conducting another search.