After 18 long years, the wait is over. Joran van der Sloot pleads guilty in the Natalee Holloway case, finally providing answers to Beth Holloway. Natalee’s high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005 took a tragic turn when she went missing, with van der Sloot being the last person seen with her. Despite early suspicions, Aruba authorities failed to build a case against him.
However, in the United States, federal prosecutors in Alabama brought charges of extortion and wire fraud against van der Sloot in 2010, while he was already incarcerated in Peru for the murder of Stephany Flores, a college student he killed in his Lima hotel room.
The indictment alleged that van der Sloot had attempted to extort $250,000 from Beth Holloway in exchange for information about Natalee’s death.
U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona emphasized, “Today, the United States held Joran van der Sloot accountable for his scheme to exploit a mother in search of answers about her missing daughter.”
For Beth Holloway, the guilty plea didn’t provide the closure she had longed for. She expressed, “I can unequivocally state that after 18 years, Natalee’s case is resolved in my eyes. It’s over, it’s concluded. Joran van der Sloot is no longer a suspect in my daughter’s murder; he is the perpetrator.”
While the specific details about the circumstances leading to her daughter’s death will be disclosed later, Holloway shared in court that van der Sloot had violently attacked Natalee after she rejected his advances and disposed of her body in the ocean. She directly addressed van der Sloot, asserting, “You are a murderer, and I want you to remember that every time you hear that cell door close.”
Subsequently, a judge sentenced van der Sloot to 20 years in a U.S. federal prison. Initially, he will be extradited to Peru to complete his sentence for the murder of Stephany Flores. If he serves more than 20 years in Peru, he will not be required to return to the U.S. to serve his sentence for extortion and wire fraud.