BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Beth Holloway, the mother of Natalee Holloway, issued a statement following the sentencing of Joran van der Sloot on Wednesday.

Van der Sloot, long known as the main suspect in the death and disappearance of Natalee Holloway, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and extortion, being sentenced to 20 years in prison on each charge, sentences that would run concurrent with one another. As part of his plea, van der Sloot confessed to murdering Holloway in Aruba in 2005 and disposing her body.

Read Beth Holloway’s statement in full below:

In 2005 my daughter Natalee Holloway disappeared during her graduation trip to Aruba. The main suspect, Joran van der Sloot, was indicted in 2010 by an Alabama Grand Jury in Birmingham for extortion and wire fraud for trying to sell her remains to me. Meanwhile, he has been serving time in a Peruvian prison for murdering a young girl there named Stephany Flores. In June he was extradited from Peru to Birmingham to face the Alabama indictment and has been in jail here awaiting today’s hearing.

Today, I can tell you with certainty after eighteen years, that as far as I’m concerned, Natalee’s case is solved. It is over. Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer. In the course of his felony prosecution here for extortion and wire fraud, he made a proffer in exchange for a plea agreement in which he finally confessed that he killed Natalee. He described when and how he killed her. He also said that after killing her on the beach in Aruba, he put her into the water and that was the last he saw of her. This was all verified by a comprehensive and conclusive polygraph test.

Even with this confession he can’t be tried here for Natalee’s murder, but I am satisfied knowing once and for all that he did it, he did it alone, and he disposed of her alone. Details of his brutal confession will be forthcoming when the proffer is made public. The plea agreement was reached as a result of the proffer. Thanks to a lot of very smart and dedicated people, I got the answer I’ve been searching for since 2005. Joran van der Sloot’s confession means we have finally reached the end of this never-ending nightmare, and for me, that’s even better than closure.

It was an extraordinary coordination of efforts by a lot of people to bring this case to a close and I have so many people to thank: first, Lloyd Peeples, Chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Alabama, Catherine Crosby, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, the FBI here in Birmingham and in Miami, Florida, which have gone above and beyond to make all this happen; the U.S. Marshals. President Dina Boluarte of Peru, the U.S. Embassy in Peru, the Peruvian Embassy in the U.S., attorney John Q. Kelly, George Seymore and Marc Wachtenheim of Patriot Strategies, and Greta Van Susteren who has worked diligently with me for years to try to get justice, and without whom we would not have gotten to this day. I want to thank every single one of these people from the bottom of my heart.

I was blessed to have had Natalee in my life for 18 years. She would be 36 years old now and I still miss her every single day. It has been a very long and painful journey, but we finally got the answers we’ve been searching for all these years. We finally got justice for Natalee.

Beth Holloway