Case Closed: Natalee Holloway Case Officially Solved

( – The mysterious disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway in 2005 has finally been solved, following a confession from her killer as part of a plea deal. Joran van der Sloot, now 36, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and extortion and was sentenced to 20 years in prison in an Alabama court nearly two decades after murdering the teenager on an Aruban beach. While he agreed to reveal the truth around the young woman’s disappearance as part of his plea deal, it is not likely that he will be prosecuted for her killing due to Aruba’s 12-year statute of limitations.

Joran van der Sloot admitted to murdering Natalee Holloway after she tried to defend herself when he groped her. He claimed that when he refused to stop groping her, she kneed him in the genitals. He then kicked her in the face. His kick rendered her unconscious, at which point he found a cinderblock nearby and used it to deliver a fatal blow to her head. He then waded into the water with her body and pushed it out into the sea in order to avoid detection. Although he was suspected at the time, he was never prosecuted in connection with her disappearance.

Five years after Natalee went missing, van der Sloot attempted to extort $250,000 from her mother, Beth Holloway, in return for information on the whereabout of her daughter’s remains. He proceeded to accept $25,000 in return for giving the location of the body, with a further $225,000 to be paid on discovery of the body, despite knowing that the location he gave was false. He was unaware that the extortion attempt was recorded as part of an FBI led sting operation.

Van der Sloot could be arrested for extortion, however, he fled to Peru, where just two years later he was convicted of the violent killing of a 21-year-old woman called Flores. He was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment for Flores’ death, and then in 2023 he was sentenced to a further 18 years for cocaine smuggling. Peruvian authorities agreed to temporarily extradite him to the US so that he could be tried in the extortion case, before being returned to Peru to serve out the rest of his sentences.

Natalee’s mother rebuffed van der Sloot’s claim that he was now a reformed Christian, calling him “evil personified”.

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