BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)– This morning, Joran van der Sloot is back in the Shelby County Jail awaiting extradition back to Peru after he pleaded guilty to extortion and wire fraud during Wednesday’s court hearing.
Disturbing details about the death of Natalee Holloway were also revealed following the hearing. After 18 years, her family has answers.
In exchange for the plea, van der Sloot released chilling details of what he said happened to Natalee in 2005 while she was on a high school senior trip in Aruba.
In a proffer with the FBI, accompanied by a polygraph test, he admitted to kicking Holloway in the face after she refused his sexual advances. He then dropped a cinder block on her before dragging her body into the ocean. To this day, her body has never been found.
Beth Holloway said it’s horrific learning what happened but still not as hard as living in the unknown for 18 years.
“When you hear a killer confess to how he intentionally, it was intent to kill her, that’s pretty shocking,” she said. “I think you first start to think, ’Oh, it had to of been an accident, or it had to of been perhaps manslaughter.’ You don’t think of it being an actual intentional kill, and that is brutal to hear.”
Holloway added that as a parent you just want to know what happened. She didn’t want to be left living her life out never knowing the details.
After pleading guilty to extortion and wire fraud, van der Sloot was sentenced to 20-years in prison. This sentence will run concurrently with the prison time he’s serving in Peru for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores.
Beth Holloway said she hopes this sends a message of hope to other families who are grieving lost loved ones.
“You begin to flatline,” she said. “So, I hope in some way it will maybe give a resurgence of energy and renewal of strength to a family who’s hurting. And there are a lot of families that don’t even have a perpetrator nor recovery of their loved one. So, that’s very torturous.”
Van der Sloot cannot be tried for Natalee’s murder in the U.S., but Holloway said as far as she’s concerned, their family’s never-ending nightmare is over. Van der Sloot is expected to return to Peru in the next few days.
Holloway is moving forward one day at a time with hopes of inspiring other families through placing a focus on other missing person cases.
“I think it just takes someone that’s walked a little bit farther to go, ‘Hey, let’s get up and try it again,’” said Holloway. “And also, I’m going to enjoy my family. I want to enjoy Mat and my two grandchildren. I see Natalee’s life. I see her living through him. I see her living through my granddaughter and my grandson. So, I think I need to enjoy that for a while.”