Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the disappearance and death of American teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005, has finally admitted to his crime after 18 years of mystery and misery for her family.
Van der Sloot, who is currently serving a 46-year sentence in Peru for another murder he committed in 2010, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to extortion and wire fraud charges in a U.S. federal court. As part of his plea deal, he agreed to tell Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mother, how he killed her daughter and where he disposed of her body.
According to his confession, van der Sloot strangled Natalee after she refused to have sex with him at a beach. He then buried her body in a shallow grave near the shore. He later returned to the scene and moved her remains to another location, which he did not disclose.
Beth Holloway said she finally has answers and closure after 18 years of searching for the truth. She thanked the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department for their efforts in bringing van der Sloot to justice. She also expressed her hope that other families who have missing loved ones will find peace and resolution.
Van der Sloot will be sentenced to 20 years in a U.S. prison, after he finishes serving time in Peru. He will also have to pay $250,000 in restitution to Beth Holloway for the money he extorted from her in exchange for false information about Natalee’s whereabouts.
The case of Natalee Holloway has attracted widespread media attention and public interest since she vanished on a high school graduation trip in Aruba in 2005. She was last seen leaving a nightclub with van der Sloot and two other men, who were later released due to insufficient evidence.
Van der Sloot has been the subject of several documentaries, books, and movies that explored his involvement in Natalee’s disappearance and his subsequent crimes. He was also the target of several undercover operations and sting attempts by journalists and private investigators who tried to elicit a confession from him.
His admission of guilt marks the end of a long and painful saga for Natalee’s family and friends, who have been waiting for justice and closure for almost two decades. It also raises questions about how he managed to evade prosecution for so long and why he decided to confess now.