Joran van der Sloot Finally Confessed to Murdering Natalee Holloway

Joran van der Sloot has been the main suspect in Natalee Holloway's case for nearly 20 years. Where is he now? He finally confessed to murdering her.

Amber Garrett - Author

Oct. 18 2023, Updated 10:23 p.m. ET

Joran van der Sloot being transferred in a police car from the Ancon I jail in Lima on June 8, 2023.
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • On Oct. 18, 2023, Joran van der Sloot finally confessed to killing Natalee Holloway nearly 20 years ago.
  • He's already in jail for a previous charge.
  • He also pled guilty to trying to extort Natalee Holloway's family.
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Natalee Holloway has been missing for nearly 20 years and was declared dead in 2012. Despite authorities and her family having no doubt about the identity of her killer, the case remained officially unsolved...until Oct. 18, 2023.

Although the prime suspect, Joran van der Sloot, has never been charged with Holloway's death, he's currently serving a 28-year sentence for another murder — but there has been an update in his case. Read on to learn where Van der Sloot is today.

Joran van der Sloot near his parents home in Aruba after he was released from prison on Dec. 7, 2007.
Source: Getty Images
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Joran van de Sloot confessed to murdering Natalee Holloway.

The question of who killed Holloway in Aruba almost 20 years ago has been answered. Van der Sloot, long the prime suspect, went into brutal detail as he confessed to killing her and dumping her body into the ocean. Sadly, her remains will never be found. But perhaps knowing justice is being served will be of some small comfort to her parents.

He also pled guilty to trying to extort the Holloway family for $250,000 in exchange for information about her remains. It's all a sad and sick story of a young woman who crossed paths with a truly disturbed individual.

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Joran van der Sloot is in prison for murdering Stephany Flores and was extradited to the U.S.

Since 2012, Van der Sloot has been in prison serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez, whose body was found in his hotel room on June 2, 2010. The university student had been beaten to death, and her time of death was determined to be May 30 — the five-year anniversary of Holloway's disappearance and presumed homicide.

Joran van der Sloot during a hearing at the Lurigancho prison in Lima on January 13, 2012
Source: Getty Images
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A bloody tennis racquet recovered from the scene is believed to be the murder weapon, and several thousand dollars Flores won at a casino was missing. Van der Sloot fled to Chile, and authorities believed he intended to escape back to Aruba, but he was arrested and returned to Lima where he was charged with first-degree murder and robbery.

After numerous delays in his trial, Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to the lesser charges of qualified murder and simple robbery. He received a sentence of 28 years and was transported from Miguel Castro Castro prison to Piedras Gordas, a maximum security prison north of Lima. To the outrage of the public, Van der Sloot was allowed to have conjugal visits with a woman he met at Miguel Castro while she was visiting another inmate. The couple married in 2014.

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According to CNN, Van der Sloot was extradited to the U.S. May 11, 2023. In a statement provided by Justice and Human Rights Minister Daniel Maurate Romero, he "decided to agree to the request for temporary surrender … (of Van der Sloot) … for his prosecution in the United States for the alleged commission of the crimes of extortion and fraud" against Holloway’s mother.

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In June 2010, Van der Sloot attempted to extort $250,000 from Beth Holloway in exchange for leading authorities to Holloway's remains, per CNN. It was all a ruse. Beth Holloway ultimately wired "$15,000 to a bank account Van der Sloot held in the Netherlands, and through an attorney gave him an additional $10,000 in person." She is seeking $25,100. The added $100 is the cost incurred when she wired the money to Van der Sloot.

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Natalee Holloway's family feels like justice is finally being served.

Once the legal proceedings are done in the U.S., Van der Sloot will return to Peru, but this is enough for the Holloways, who have been waiting 18 years for this moment.

"In May 2005, my 18-year-old daughter Natalee Holloway left Birmingham for Aruba to attend her high school graduation trip and was never seen again," said Beth Holloway in a statement to the press. "She would be 36 years old now. It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee."

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey also weighed in on the extradition, referring to it as "significant." In a tweet, the governor said, "Criminals like him are deceptive and vicious. Alabama moms like Beth Holloway are stronger. Her commendable persistence to obtain justice for Natalee is FINALLY paying off."

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