Natalee Holloway’s murder has finally been solved. Over 15 years after the 18-year-old’s disappearance from a bar in Aruba, Joran van der Sloot confessed to her killing as part of a plea deal for a federal trial for extortion and wire fraud on Wednesday, October 18. Now that the details have finally been revealed. Here’s everything you need to know about Natalee’s death.
Natalee Holloway’s 2005 Disappearance
Natalee was one of over 100 students from Mountain Brook High School taking part in an unofficial graduation trip to Aruba. She was last spotted leaving a nightclub on May 30. Joran, then 17, was one of the three other men spotted getting in the car with her. When she didn’t arrive for her flight the next day, an investigation began, and Joran was one of the suspects. Joran was arrested in June on suspicions, but he was never charged.
Natalee Declared Dead in 2012
Almost six years following her disappearance, Natalee’s father, Dave, filed a petition to have her declared legally dead in Alabama. Her mother, Beth, challenged the filing, but a judge signed the petition in January 2012.
Joran van der Sloot Admits to Her Murder
Joran, now 36, was convicted of the 2010 murder of Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez. He was found guilty in 2012, and sentenced to 28 years in prison in Peru. Prior to fleeing to Peru, Joran had offered Natalee’s family information about where her body was in exchange for $15,000. The family wired him money, but the information he gave ended up being false. He was tried in the U.S. for charges of extortion and wire fraud. As part of a plea deal, he was required to confess to Natalee’s murder. “For 19 years you denied killing Natalee Holloway. Your lies have caused indiscernible pain,” Natalee’s mother said in a victim impact statement, per CNN. “I am hopeful that some small semblance of justice may finally be realized, even though no act of justice will heal the pain we’ve endured.”
As part of the plea deal, Joran had to confess to what had happened to Natalee on the night that she was killed. Beth Holloway’s lawyer shared what happened to her daughter in a statement to People. He said that Natalee had denied sexual advances that Joran made against her. He said that the two of them had laid down and were kissing. “She tells me ‘no.’ She tells me she doesn’t want me to — to feel her up. Uh, I insist. I keep feeling her up either way,” he said in a recorded confession, via People.
He said after he kept touching her, she kicked him “extremely hard” in the groin. He then kicked her in the face. He said that after he kicked her she was unconscious and possibly dead, and then he struck her with a cinder block. ” I smash her head in with it completely. Uh, yeah, her face basically, you know, uh collapses in,” he said. He then said he pushed her body off into the ocean.
After his conviction, he will be extradited back to Peru to continue serving his sentence. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison in the U.S. for the extortion charges.