In a significant revelation, Joran van der Sloot, the primary suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, confessed to her murder, said US Federal Judge Anna Manasco on Wednesday.
Van der Sloot’s confession came amidst charges of extortion and wire fraud related to an alleged attempt to sell information about Holloway’s remains to her family for $250,000. The whereabouts of Holloway’s remains continue to elude discovery, leading to her legal declaration of death in 2012 by an Alabama judge.
While van der Sloot had faced multiple arrests linked to Holloway’s disappearance, the Aruban authorities released him, pointing to the absence of direct evidence. However, in an emotionally charged court session, Holloway’s mother, Beth, confronted van der Sloot, condemning his almost two-decade-long denial. “Joran, for eighteen years you have denied killing my daughter Natalee. Your lies and manipulation, taunting us with fake news interviews and wild stories of what happened to her, have caused indescribable pain and harm to my family and me. The grief I feel lives way down deep in my soul. Now in the course of being sentenced for attempting to sell me her bodily remains, you have finally admitted that you, in fact, murdered her.” “You are a murder,” she said in the statement. “Remember that every time that jail door slams shut. You are a killer. You didn’t get what you wanted from Natalee – sexual satisfaction – so you brutally killed her. You didn’t get what you wanted, so you killed her.”
Currently, van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores. Despite his incarceration, he was temporarily extradited to the US in June to address the aforementioned charges.
Holloway’s family hopes for closure, as van der Sloot’s plea deal necessitates divulging the details surrounding Holloway’s death and the disposal of her body. However, Holloway family attorney John Q. Kelly remarked that no further searches for Holloway’s remains are planned.
Beth Holloway is expected to hold a press conference, shedding light on van der Sloot’s disclosures to the FBI.
Back in 2005, Natalee Holloway disappeared during a high school graduation trip to Aruba. The last visual of the 18-year-old showed her leaving a nightclub with van der Sloot and two others, Deepak and Satish Kalpoe. The trio faced arrest in 2005 and then again in 2007 on charges linked to Holloway’s disappearance but were subsequently released due to insufficient evidence.
Adding to van der Sloot’s criminal record, between March and May 2010, he was alleged to have engaged in a scheme to extort money from Holloway’s family. In the interim between this alleged extortion and his indictment, van der Sloot was implicated in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in Peru.
Once his US trials conclude, van der Sloot will resume his Peruvian sentence for Flores’ murder, followed by any sentence meted out in the US for the federal charges related to Holloway’s case.