Natalee Holloway was an 18-year-old American student who disappeared in Aruba on May 30, 2005, while on a high school graduation trip. Joran van der Sloot, a 17-year-old Dutch national, was the last person to be seen with her. He was arrested and charged with her murder, but was released due to lack of evidence.
For the next 18 years, Holloway’s family searched tirelessly for answers about what happened to her. Van der Sloot remained the prime suspect, but he continued to deny any involvement in her disappearance.
In 2023, Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to wire fraud and extortion charges in a federal court in Alabama. As part of the plea deal, he agreed to tell Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mother, how her daughter died and where her body was stashed.
On October 18, 2023, Van der Sloot met with Beth Holloway in a Birmingham prison and confessed to killing Natalee. He told her that he had strangled her to death after they got into an argument. He then disposed of her body in a remote area of Aruba.
Beth Holloway told reporters that she was finally able to find some closure after hearing Van der Sloot’s confession. “I can tell you with certainty that after 18 years, Natalie’s case is solved as far as I’m concerned,” she said. “It’s over, it’s over. Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer.”