Paradise Lost: The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway
A Twist in the Case
In 2008, van der Sloot contacted Fox's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, wishing to reveal the truth about his involvement in the case. At that time, he told Van Susteren that he had received just under $10,000 cash in exchage for Natalee, whom he had handed over to a stranger on a boat. According to van der Sloot, the stranger was a human trafficker who took Natalee to Venezuela. Van der Sloot also claimed that his father had bribed two police officers to keep quiet about what they knew. As with the previous confession, van der Sloot quickly retracted his statements, and once again claimed that he had been lying.
Van der Sloot made another confession in 2009, telling the Dutch newspaper De Telegraf a story very similar to his videotaped admission, but this time claiming to have dumped Natalee's body in a marsh, not at sea. This confession was made public on February 23, 2010, shortly after van der Sloot's father, Paulus, who had been implicated in the disposal of Natalee's body, died of a heart attack while playing tennis at a resort. Chief prosecutor Peter Blanken has maintained that both this and the 2008 confessions have little credibility and that van der Sloot's statements do not match known facts in the case.
Neither the FBI nor Aruban authorities acted immediately to detain van der Sloot, whose information given in exchange for the deposit was found to be not credible. Van der Sloot left Aruba shortly thereafter, flying to Bogota, Colombia, and then to Lima, Peru, to participate in a poker tournament. In Lima, the saga of Natalee Holloway and Joran van der Sloot would take yet another strange twist.
Police quickly identified van der Sloot as the prime suspect and issued a warrant for his arrest. Van der Sloot had been sighted entering Chile the day before, though, and an Interpol warrant was issued. Van der Sloot was arrested outside Santiago, Chile, on June 3 for the murder of Flores. Van der Sloot denied killing Flores, the daughter of a prominent Peruvian businessman, to Chilean police, but was returned to Peru the next day. On June 5, he was taken back to Lima and interrogated by police.
On June 7, Lima police announced that van der Sloot had offered yet another confession to a felony, this time to the killing of Flores, but in such a manner, if accepted, as to pave the way for a manslaughter charge rather than murder. Van der Sloot, it was reported, confessed to killing Flores in a rage after she tampered with his laptop computer, which, van der Sloot maintained, contained personal information pertaining to his involvement in the Holloway case. Van der Sloot further maintained that he had been drunk and under the influence of marijuana at the time of the attack. Van der Sloot's mother, through a family attorney, expressed concern that the confession may have been coerced, and all parties anticipate the possibility that van der Sloot will once again retract his confession.