07/11/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT
Ups and downs, stops and starts, glimmers of hope and crushing disappointments—this is what most days are like for Beth Twitty as she continues searching for her daughter Natalee Holloway in Aruba. On June 23—more than three weeks after Natalee vanished—came good news: Police arrested Paul van der Sloot, the father of the main suspect, Joran, and a man Beth has long believed knows more than he is saying. But then, only three days later, police let him go. "I was just devastated," Beth told PEOPLE. "All the trust was just ripped out of me, just like Natalee was ripped out of her life."
The investigation into Natalee's disappearance has been frustrating for Twitty; given Aruba's closed-door judicial system, police have disclosed little to her of what they've found. One sign of progress is a crack in the alliance between the three friends who were last seen with Natalee May 30—and who remain in custody: Joran van der Sloot, 17, and brothers Satish and Deepak Kalpoe. "Satish is angry at Joran for changing his story," says Satish's attorney David Kock, referring to Joran's admission that he left Natalee at a beach near the Marriott, and not at her own hotel as he first claimed. "Only Joran knows what happened," says Kock, "and he needs to tell the truth." Antonio Carlo, Joran's attorney, says Joran "did nothing to harm Natalee. He's confident the truth will come out."
Meanwhile Beth Twitty sticks to her two theories of what might have happened to her daughter: She thinks Natalee either died accidentally from a date-rape drug or was kidnapped and taken off the island. And she tries to believe the investigation is indeed moving forward, as FBI agents have assured her. "I can't do any more than I've already done," she says. "Now I want them to pull me through this, because I'm tired of guessing."