Beth Holloway: Van der Sloot tried to sell me Natalee’s remains
(Huffington Post) NEW YORK – It may be hard to believe that it’s been nearly 10 years since the highly publicized disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway in Aruba, but for her mother Beth, the quest for answers has never stopped. The last decade has been filled with not just heartbreak, but also great frustration, as Beth tells Oprah on “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”
The man suspected of killing Natalee in 2005, Joran van der Sloot, has never been charged with her murder, but he is currently in prison for the 2010 murder of another young woman. Exactly five years to the day that Natalee disappeared (May 30), van der Sloot killed 21-year-old Stephany Flores in a Peru hotel room, under circumstances eerily similar to Natalee’s case.
People were shocked by the similarities — “It felt like a knife to me, and I have no relationship with you other than [our 2008 'Oprah Show'] interview,” Oprah tells Beth — but no one felt the connection and frustration quite like Natalee’s mother.
“How does that happen?” she wonders.
Van der Sloot reportedly confessed to Flores’ murder days after her body was discovered. However, prior to that tragedy, another truly sinister plot in relation to Natalee’s death had been taking place.
“At that time that that was all happening, Joran had reached out [to me],” Beth says. “He was trying to extort money out of me, trying to sell me Natalee’s remains, which… just shocks the conscious.”
Van der Sloot allegedly had offered to reveal the location of the teen’s remains in exchange for $250,000.
The FBI was ready to step in. “There was an FBI sting. It was all about to go down in Aruba,” Beth recalls. “Joran had fled the country, slipped through their fingers.”
Hearing of his escape was difficult enough for Beth, but then to hear that van der Sloot had murdered another young woman shortly after fleeing was especially devastating. “We were supposed to have him,” she says.
Once van der Sloot was in custody, Beth made an unauthorized visit to Peru and ended up confronting the man suspected of killing her daughter.
“I went there to reach out to the Flores family and to support them. I didn’t go there with this plan [that] I’m going to see Joran,” Beth explains. “I did [confront him]. I just wanted to get to Joran. I honestly don’t know if I was going there to get information from him… For some reason, I needed some sense of how to begin to… find my way through this journey.”
“Did you expect that he would tell you something?” Oprah asks.
“No,” Beth answers. “Maybe somewhere deep down…”
Despite serving a 28-year prison sentence, van der Sloot got married to a Peruvian woman in a prison ceremony in July and became a father when his wife gave birth less than three months later.
“When I hear it… It makes you sick,” Beth says. “But I really try to focus on what I truly care about. And what I truly care about is information as to what happened to Natalee.”
“Oprah: Where Are They Now?” airs Sundays at 9 pm. ET on OWN, with all-new episodes returning in February. Find OWN on your TV.