Court records filed Friday indicate the main suspect in Natalee Holloway’s 2005 disappearance plans to plead guilty in an extortion case.
ByThe Associated Press
October 13, 2023, 7:54 p.m.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Court records filed Friday indicate that Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway, intends to plead guilty in a federal case accusing him of trying to extort money from the mother of the missing teenager.
A federal judge set an Oct. 18 plea and sentencing hearing for van der Sloot in Birmingham, Alabama. He had already pleaded not guilty in this case.
Emails sent to van der Sloot’s lawyer and a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors were not immediately returned Friday evening.
Van der Sloot was extradited from Peru to Alabama, where he is serving a 28-year prison sentence after confessing to the murder of a Peruvian woman in 2010.
Holloway disappeared during a high school graduation trip with classmates to Aruba. The Alabama teenager was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot, a student at an international school on the island. The mysterious disappearance sparked years of media coverage and countless true crime podcasts. Van der Sloot was identified as one of the main suspects and was arrested for questioning, but no charges were filed in the case.
A judge declared Holloway dead but her body was never found.
U.S. prosecutors say that in 2010, van der Sloot demanded money from Beth Holloway to reveal the location of her daughter’s body. A grand jury indicted him that year.