Almost 20 years after her murder, Natalee Holloway’s parents have finally found some closure.
Beth and Dave Holloway both provided victim impact statements in the trial that led Joran van der Sloot to confess to murdering their then-18-year-old daughter in Aruba in 2005. The confession was made public on Wednesday, as the now 36-year-old Dutch man entered a plea deal with federal prosecutors in an extortion case related to the murder.
“Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder,” Beth told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Birmingham, Alabama, according to CBS News. “He is the killer.”
Natalee was on a high graduation trip in May 2005 when she met van der Sloot and was allegedly killed after rejecting his romantic advances. Per CBS, in an interview with his attorney, van der Sloot said that the two were kissing on the beach, and when Holloway tried to stop things from going further, van der Sloot kicked her in the face before hitting her in the head with a cement block.
He then claims to have disposed of her body in the ocean. Natalee’s remains have never been discovered.
Dave’s victim impact statement to U.S. District Judge Anna Manasco, obtained by ET, calls van der Sloot “evil personified,” saying that his daughter died because she “dared to stand up for her own body” and “defended herself against his unwanted sexual advances.”
“Protecting herself enraged an aggressive predator to the point of murder,” he continues, adding that the Holloway family are “satified” with van der Sloot’s version of events, and believe he acted alone. “He murdered Natalee, and then tortured and extorted those who loved her most.”
During Wednesday’s hearing, van der Sloot pleaded guilty to extortion and wire fraud charges. He was extradited to the U.S. earlier this year following 2010 charges that allege he tried to extort Beth in exchange for information about her missing daughter’s remains.
Van der Sloot’s 20-year sentence will run concurrently with his 28-year sentence in Peru in the killing of Stephany Flores Ramírez, whom van der Sloot claims to have smothered to death in 2010 after she discovered his identity as a person of interest in Natalee’s ongoing case.
“Please sentence this man to the fullest extent of the law,” Dave’s impact statement concludes. “Today marks some legal accountability, but we are convinced that a higher power will pronounce the ultimate judgement on this defendant and anyone else who helped him prevent us from bringing Natalee home.”