It’s yet another disappointment in the story that has yielded plenty of heartbreak but little resolution since the world first heard of Natalee Holloway almost a decade ago. Joran Van der Sloot will not have to face extradition to the United States until he completes his sentence in Peru – in 2038.
Van der Sloot is the primary suspect in Natalee’s disappearance and presumed murder, when the 17-year-old went to Aruba with her Mountain Brook classmates to celebrate their graduation. She was last seen with him, and the case begins and ends with him. And he has taken her mother, Beth Holloway, and everyone else on a never-ending roller coaster ride of fabrication, deception, and extortion. It still hasn’t ended. Who knows if it ever will.
When Beth Holloway first received word that Natalee had not made it onto the flight heading home, she had a gut feeling that something was terribly wrong, and she headed down to Aruba in hopes of finding her daughter and getting some answers. She got neither. It did not take long to establish that Joran Van der Sloot was the last person to see Natalee before she disappeared, but that fact did not get anyone any closer to finding Holloway alive or locating her body.
Over the years, the story has changed and taken on many twists and turns, based on the manipulation of the criminal that Beth Holloway’s attorney has called “a pathological liar.” He sits in prison in Peru for murdering a young lady, Stephany Flores – five years to the day after Natalee Holloway’s disappearance. He was unable to play the Peruvian government like he did the Aruban officials, and the evidence in Flores’ case was solid.
Natalee’s mom still wants answers. Many times over the years, she has stated, “Enough is enough.” But the cruel psychological drama of the case never ends, and the grieving mom has never fully been allowed to have any closure. A judge declared Natalee Holloway dead in 2010, but her body has never been located.
That is why Beth gave in to Van der Sloot’s demands for money in 2010, because she hoped to finally have some answers. The Dutch manipulator initiated a series of emails to Holloway’s attorney, John Q. Kelly, according to People. After a confession in 2008, which he later recanted, Joran decided to toy with Natalee’s mother’s heart yet again in some sort of sick cat-and-mouse game. He told Kelly that Natalee Holloway’s body was in the foundation of a house, and that, for the sum of $250,000, he would at last disclose the location. On March 30, 2010, he wrote:
“I will do the right thing this situation hurts everyone involved and will continue to do so until it is over. I will take you to Natalee but I do not want it to be known the information came from me. In return I want to receive $250,000.”
Again, he lied. But it was not until Beth Holloway had sent a down payment of $25,000 that it became clear that this was yet another misdirect. Ms. Holloway was truly under no illusion that Joran would actually do what he had said. But the hope was that they would be able to get him on the extortion charges and have him brought to the US, where maybe, just maybe, they might be able to get some answers and closure regarding Natalee Holloway.
Another hope was dashed when Van der Sloot used Holloway’s money to elude Aruban police and escape to Peru. It was there that his truly heinous nature was undeniably revealed, when he murdered Stephany Flores in cold blood. This time there was plenty of evidence, and he was not getting away with it.
Beth Holloway and her attorney have been holding on to the expectation that Joran would be extradited to Birmingham, Alabama, on extortion charges. Sunday’s announcement by the Peruvian government has shattered that hope. Van der Sloot will not be eligible for release to US authorities until the completion of his 28 year sentence for Flores’ murder. Holloway’s attorney expressed their great disappointment in this most recent development:
“Most importantly, we believe that had he been brought here to answer the charges, there would have been much greater likelihood that he would have disclosed the location of Natalee’s whereabouts.”
And so the drama of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway’s disappearance continues. Joran Van der Sloot evades truth and justice once again. And Natalee’s family and friends have one more chapter in the never-ending story to process. It is hoped that somehow Beth Holloway will find peace and resolution.