The Search for Natalee: Amy Bradley

The Search for Natalee: Amy Bradley

Amy's mother, Iva, explains how the cruise came about. "In 1998 my husband, Ron, won a trip and so we went as a family. Our first stop was Aruba, and then after that was Curuçao. When we were on the ship, we noticed immediately there was a tremendous amount of attention toward Amy from the crew members. After dinner, the waiter came out of the dining room and asked me where Amy was, and I asked him why, and he said, 'Well, we want to take her to Carlos 'N Charlie's.'"

"When the waiter asked, I thought it was maybe a little forward of him to be asking those types of questions," Ron adds.

"When Amy came back, I said, 'The waiter wants to take you to Carlos 'N Charlie's with his friends.' And then Amy looked at me and said, 'They're creepy. And I'm not going anywhere with them.'"

"There was a dance troupe that was allowed onboard the ship," Iva continues. "There was a bass player who I noticed. And he was a very unsavory looking character. Amy told her brother, Brad, that the bass player had been hitting on her. She said that he was a real jerk."

Iva continues, "At about 1:00, Ron and I decided to go to bed. Some time between 5:15 and 5:30 my husband woke up and he saw Amy asleep on the deck. And about a half an hour later, at 6:00 a.m., he woke back up. He saw that Amy was no longer on the balcony."


"I immediately thought that she was up on the top deck," says Ron, "and so I left to try and go up and find her. When I couldn't find her, I didn't really know what to think, because it was very much unlike Amy to leave and not tell us where she was going."

Iva recounts, "Ronnie woke me up at 7:00 a.m., and he was gray, and he said, 'I can't find Amy,' and I knew immediately there was something terribly wrong. My son went up to look for Amy. He was approached by the band members and they said, 'Sorry to hear about your sister.' How in the world did they know anything about Amy being missing?

"At approximately lunchtime, the captain said, 'She is not on the ship. We have searched every nook and cranny.' And I said, 'Well, you've got to put a picture out.'" And he looked at me and said, 'I cannot do that. It will disturb the other guests.'

"My son was in a fetal position. Ron was vomiting blood, and I had no feeling in my arms.

 

"The captain made the comment to us that she could have fallen overboard. And I told him absolutely no way. He said that we should get off the boat in case she ended up in Curaçao.

"My gut feeling to this day was somebody saw her, somebody wanted her, and somebody took her."

Ron says, "We have reason to believe that Amy was kidnapped and possibly sold into the sex slave market somewhere on one of the Islands. We have gotten thousands of leads since this happened. One of the best leads that we had came from David Carmichael."


"In August of 1998, a friend, Brian, and I were scuba diving on the island of Curaçao," David says. "I noticed three people walking along the beach. One of them was a young girl, and she was flanked by two fellows. She had two tattoos. One of them was of a gecko, the other was of a Tasmanian Devil. The girl walked towards me. She started to stare at me. J
ust as she was about to say something, the fellow motioned her away. In May of 1999, I saw the segment on Unsolved Mysteries. The minute I saw her picture and saw her face, I realized that was the girl on the beach."

David may not be the only visitor to Curaçao to have seen Amy. A member of the Navy says he saw her during a visit to a brothel there in 1999. She told him that her name was
Amy Bradley and begged him for help. He told her there was a Navy ship five minutes down the road. As Amy's mother recounts, "She said, 'You don't understand, I can't leave. Help me. Please help me.'" But the man dismissed her plea because at the time he didn't know Amy was missing — and because he wasn't supposed to be there.

"And when he saw Amy's picture on the front cover of People magazine, that's when he contacted us, because he realized it was the same girl," Iva says.

"Our lives have been so drastically changed in the last seven years. Every waking moment is, 'Where is Amy?' I just want people to know that when girls disappear outside of the country, they're disappearing for a reason. And white slavery and sex trafficking is so alive and well, it would absolutely blow you away. We believe with every fiber in our being that someone took her and we want her back. And I have tried to make deals with God. If we find her today, you can take me tomorrow. When they say the worst nightmare, it is. It's the worst nightmare."

Dr. Phil comforts Iva, and asks, "Do you believe she's alive?"

"I do believe she's alive," Iva replies.

Dr. Phil thanks David Carmichael for coming. "You saw her on the beach. Are you convinced it was her?"

"One hundred percent. Without a doubt," he replies.


Before moving on, Dr. Phil shares one of Ty's video diary entries. Ty says, "We're at Le Mirage, outside 10 acres of nothing but flesh for sale. It's got a 20-foot wall around it and steel gates. There are women who are from all over. There were women who were using the phone that had security standing over them. They're listening to every word that the girls were saying. That smacks of control. Prisoners. There's hundreds of girls in there. It's just a haven for flesh." Ty filed this entry from one of Aruba's neighboring islands, Curacao, which is where Amy Bradley disappeared seven years ago.

Iva and Ron received a picture via e-mail from a sender who wishes to remain anonymous.

 

Dr. Phil says, "I want to show you this picture of who may very well be Amy Bradley seven years after her disappearance. Now I want to emphasize that we discussed whether we should show this picture on the air with former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt who has worked on many kidnapping cases. Now, Ron and Clint both agree that because this is the first lead that they've had in nearly eight years, he and Iva would like to show this picture in case this young woman is indeed Amy. Now, we have had top forensic artist experts in the country look at these pictures, and they say that it is possible that it could be Amy.

"I'll tell you what. Why don't we go through the features that the experts have picked out? Now first we want to look at the cheekbones here. And what they do is they measure things that don't change in time." Dr. Phil points out similarities in her cheekbones, her hairline, her chin, and even a mark that Iva pointed out, a freckle below her eye.

"Do you believe that could be your daughter?" Dr. Phil asks Iva.

"I believe it could be Amy," she responds.

Dr. Phil says, "Now we know that Amy has four distinctive tattoos. One on her left shoulder blade, a baby Tasmanian Devil; one on her right ankle, a Chinese symbol of faith; one around her navel, a green gecko lizard; and one on her lower back, a primitive sun with another Chinese symbol.


"If you have seen Amy, we want you to call (804) 276-8503(804) 276-8503. Contact the Dr. Phil show. I promise you, we will protect your identity. You don't have to get involved if you've been somewhere you're not proud of being. It doesn't matter. If you will tell us, we have a team in place that can react to this."