Almost two decades after Natalee Holloway vanished in Aruba, the man long suspected in her death has confessed to killing the Alabama teen in grisly detail, court documents reveal.
Justice Has Been Served
Holloway’s 2005 disappearance had long been linked to Joran van der Sloot, who appeared in federal court to plead guilty to extortion and wire fraud in connection with the Alabama teen’s case. His confession was backed up by his polygraph test, according to the mother.
Sloot previously pleaded not guilty to all charges before Wednesday’s legal about-face.
“Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder,” Holloway’s mother Beth Holloway told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama, after a plea and sentencing hearing for the 36-year-old Dutchman.
“He is the killer.”
Natalee Holloway was 18 years old when she went missing during a senior trip to Aruba in May 2005 with high school classmates from Mountain Brook, a suburb of Birmingham.
“He said that after killing her on the beach in Aruba, he put her into the water and that was the last that he ever saw her,” she told reporters. “… I’m satisfied knowing that he did it, he did it alone and he disposed of her alone.”
According to a transcript of his confession, van der Sloot shared a grisly account of the teen’s final moments.
He admitted to killing the teen with a cinder block on an Aruban beach after she rejected his sexual advances, according to a transcript of an interview with his attorney.
He said Holloway kneed him in the crotch after he tried “feeling her up.”
He admitted that he crushed her head with a cinderblock and dragged her to the ocean when she refused his sexual advances on an Aruba beach. “I smash her head in with it completely.”
“Her face basically, you know, collapses in,” he added. “Even though it’s dark, I can see her face is collapsed in.”
After that, he said he dragged her in until he was about knees deep and pushed her off into the sea. Then, he said, he walked home. “After that, I, I get out,” he said. “I walk home.”
Van der Sloot was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with credit for time already served in U.S. custody after his arrival in June. The court will allow his sentence to run concurrently with the ones he faces in Peru. His new expected release date is June 9, 2043.
“After 18 years, Natalee’s case has been solved,” Holloway’s mother told reporters outside the courthouse immediately after the hearing. “Joran van der Sloot is the killer.”
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