Natalee Holloway’s Case Officially Closes

October 19, 2023
Aruba beach

Today, the United States held Joran van der Sloot accountable for his scheme to exploit a mother looking for information about her missing daughter.

U.S. Attorney Prim Escalona in a statement regarding the case of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old American who disappeared in 2005 on a high school trip to Aruba. Van der Sloot admitted to killing Natalee in a statement on Wednesday.

Why It Matters: After 18 years, the case is closed in the U.S. Following Natalee’s disappearance, Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot charged the Holloway family $250,000 in exchange for information about Natalee’s body. Van der Sloot provided false information, leading U.S. authorities to charge him with extortion and wire fraud. A judge sentenced him to 20 years in federal prison, however, as part of his plea agreement in which he provided the statement of his guilt, “van der Sloot will serve his 20-year prison sentence for extortion and wire fraud concurrently with the 28-year sentence he’s already serving in Peru for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, a Peruvian woman” (CNN).

Beth Holloway, mother to Natalee, said van der Sloot’s confession “means we’ve finally reached the end of our never-ending nightmare.” In a news conference, she added, “As far as I am concerned it’s over. It’s over. I’m satisfied knowing that he did it, he did it alone and he disposed of her alone.

Read More:

18 years after she disappeared, Natalee Holloway’s family finally has answers (NPR)

Confession Brings Natalee Holloway Case to an End After 18 Years (The New York Times)

by Emily Hooker, based in Texas