BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Dave Holloway, the father 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 Dave Holloway’s statement in full below:

When these charges became public, I was confident that it was an important step toward accountability and hopefully, justice. I am very thankful that today Judge Manasco sentenced this defendant. When I learned last week this proceeding was going to take place, I wrote Judge Manasco to express how this man’s crime has impacted our family. I have attached a copy of that letter to this statement.

I have been asked what I would consider to be justice for Natalee too many times to count. It is a question I have wrestled with during sleepless nights for almost two decades now. What I have come to realize is the impossibility of having what this man took from us restored, and over time I have found some level of peace and acceptance of that reality. Today’s proceeding confirmed that this defendant murdered Natalee and then tortured and extorted those who loved her most. As I expressed to Judge Manasco, he is evil personified.

Today, I want to thank everyone who walked alongside and supported us in this painful quest for accountability. Our family and friends never wavered. We remain deeply thankful for everything done by the United States Attorneys’ Office, the FBI, and other federal agencies who relentlessly pursued justice for Natalee. Without them, we would not be here today. We are forever grateful for their professionalism, dedication, and perseverance. While I am satisfied that the defendant murdered Natalee alone, I have no doubt others provided him with aid and assistance in preventing is from being able to return Natalee home. Compounding our family’s tragedy, others prioritized concealing Natalee’s murder and protecting selfish economic and personal interests over what is right and true. While it may not be in a court of law, I believe their judgment is still to come.

We are living every parent’s nightmare. Today and every day, please hug your children in honor and loving memory of our daughter, Natalee Ann Holloway.

Dave Holloway