BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (TCD) — Natalee Holloway’s case came to a close Wednesday when Joran van der Sloot confessed to killing the teen in 2005 and pleaded guilty to extorting her mother.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama announced van der Sloot entered the plea for one count of extortion and one count of wire fraud, and was subsequently sentenced to 20 years in prison. According to The Associated Press, he is currently serving prison time in Peru for killing a woman in 2010, so the sentence will run concurrently with that.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said van der Sloot contacted Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway, in 2010 and asked for money “on promises he would reveal the location of her daughter’s remains in Aruba and the circumstances of her 2005 death.” Beth Holloway ultimately paid him $25,100, but she later said the information was “worthless.”
Judge Anna Manasco reportedly told van der Sloot in court, “You have brutally murdered, in separate instances years apart, two young women who refused your sexual advances.”
AL.com reports van der Sloot said in court, “I would like to take this chance to apologize to the Holloway family, to apologize to my own family, to say I hope the statement I provided brings some kind of closure to everyone involved.”
Natalee’s mother, Beth Holloway, told him, “You have finally admitted that, in fact, you murdered her.”
She went on, “You terminated her dreams, her potential, her possibilities, when you bludgeoned her to death in 2005.”
At a press conference following the court appearance, U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona said, “Today marks the end of 18 years of wondering what happened to Natallee Holloway. Now, Beth and Dave can rest and Natalee can rest knowing that justice was served.”
Beth Holloway also spoke after the sentencing and said, “Today, I can tell you with certainty that after 18 years, Natalee’s case is solved. As far as I’m concerned, it’s over. Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect. He is the killer.”
Beth Holloway said van der Sloot revealed the “brutal” confession and the details into how he killed Natalee on the beach in Aruba, then got rid of her body in the water.
According to the FBI, Natalee Holloway went on a trip to Aruba with her senior class from Mountain Brook High School and was last seen May 30, 2005. On May 29, she and some friends went to a nightclub. She was last seen with van der Sloot and two other men at approximately 1:30 a.m. Holloway failed to return to her hotel room and did not show up when the group was preparing to head back to Alabama.
The sentencing occurred on what would have been Natalee Holloway’s 36th birthday.
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