Natalee Holloway case: Joran van der Sloot admits killing Alabama teenager and pleads guilty to defrauding her family and extorting money, judge says


Birmingham, Alabama
CNN

Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba, has pleaded guilty to killing the Alabama teenager, a US federal judge said Wednesday.

“I have considered your plea to the brutal murder of Natalee Holloway,” Judge Anna Manasco said after reading van der Sloot’s proffer.

Referring to a separate killing in Peru in 2010, the judge said, “You brutally murdered in separate incidents over a period of several years, except for two beautiful women who refused your sexual advances.”

Van der Sloot, the prime suspect in Holloway’s 2005 disappearance, pleaded guilty Wednesday to extortion and wire fraud charges in connection with the Alabama teenager’s remains.

He is accused of trying to sell information about the whereabouts of Holloway’s remains to his family in exchange for $250,000.

Holloway’s body has never been found. In 2012, an Alabama judge signed an order declaring him legally dead.

Van der Sloot was arrested several times in connection with Holloway’s death. He was later released by Aruban authorities citing lack of direct evidence.

But on Wednesday, Holloway’s mother scolded Van der Sloot in court after watching him, in which she said he confessed to killing the teen.

“For 19 years you denied killing Natalee Holloway. Your lies have caused unrecognizable pain. You finally admitted that you murdered her,” Beth Holloway said in an emotional victim impact statement.

“You’re a killer, and I want you to remember that.”

CNN has not seen van der Sloot’s profile.

Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of Stephanie Flores. Peruvian authorities allowed him to be temporarily released to the United States in June to face charges of extortion and wire fraud.

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Nearly two decades after Holloway disappeared in Aruba, van der Sloot may soon reveal long-awaited details about how she died.

As a condition of a plea deal, Van der Sloot must tell how Holloway died and how her body was disposed of, said John Q., the Holloway family attorney. Kelly said on NBC’s “Today” show before the accused Wednesday.

“There will be no further investigation or search for Natalie’s remains,” Kelly told “TODAY.”

Natalee’s mother, Beth Holloway, will hold a news conference after the hearing to share what van der Sloot told FBI officials.

CNN has requested more information from Kelly and has also sought comment from the US Department of Justice and police in Aruba.

18 years of mystery and tragedy

Holloway was in the Caribbean on a high school graduation trip when she disappeared in 2005.

The 18-year-old was last seen leaving the nightclub with two other men, Van der Sloot and brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpo.

All three were arrested in 2005 but released due to insufficient evidence.

They were rearrested and charged in 2007 with “participating in the voluntary manslaughter of Natalee Holloway or inflicting great bodily harm on Natalee Holloway, causing her death,” Aruban prosecutors said at the time.

But a few weeks later, an Aruban judge ordered van der Sloot’s release, citing a lack of direct evidence that Holloway died of a violent crime or that van der Sloot was involved in such a crime. The Kalpo brothers were also released.

Although U.S. authorities do not have jurisdiction over the criminal investigation in Aruba, a federal grand jury in Alabama charged Van der Sloot with conspiring to sell information about Holloway’s remains to his family in exchange for $250,000.

According to AccusationVan der Sloot’s project took place between March and May 2010. He was indicted in June 2010 on charges of extortion and wire fraud.

In the weeks between the extortion and the indictment, van der Sloot killed 21-year-old Stephanie Flores in her hotel room in Peru on May 30, 2010.

Van der Sloot confessed to killing Flores and was sentenced to 28 years in a Peruvian prison.

But in June, van der Sloot was temporarily extradited to the United States to face charges of extortion and fraud under an agreement between Peru and the United States.

Van der Sloot will return to Peru to complete his murder sentence in the Flores case. Later, he will return to the United States to begin his prison sentence on federal extortion and wire fraud charges.

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