Image: Joran van der Sloot
Margarete Wever  /  AP file
Joran van der Sloot's claim that he disposed of Natalee Holloway's body in a marsh was dismissed as "very unbelievable" by Aruba's chief prosecutor.
NBC News and
updated 2/23/2010 8:44:38 AM ET 2010-02-23T13:44:38

The suspect in the disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway has confessed to disposing of her body in a swamp on the Caribbean island of Aruba, according to a Dutch tabloid newspaper and Aruba's chief prosecutor.

Joran van der Sloot made the statement in a sit-down interview with a television journalist, De Telegraaf reported Tuesday.

However, Aruba's chief prosecutor Peter Blanken told NBC News that the suspect's story was "very unbelievable."

Holloway, from Mountain Brook, Ala., was 18 when she was last seen leaving a bar in the Aruban capital on the final night of a high school graduation trip in May 2005. Her body has never been recovered.

Authorities in Aruba reopened the investigation after they found out about the alleged confession, which is believed to have been recorded in August.

"The locations, names and times he gave just did not make sense," Blanken told NBC News.

De Telegraaf quoted Blanken as saying that van der Sloot's statement was "held together by lies and fantasy."

The interview was not aired by German broadcaster RTL because of doubts about whether van der Sloot was telling the truth, Blanken added.

Van der Sloot claimed that Holloway had died accidentally and insisted that he did not kill her, Blanken said.

In 2008, the suspect was secretly taped saying that Holloway had died after suffering a seizure on a beach and that he had dumped her body in the sea.

Van der Sloot later said he had been lying in a bid to impress the man he was talking to.

He also told a U.S. journalist that he sold Holloway to a man on a boat for $10,000. However, he subsequently insisted he had also made up that story.

Holloway disappeared on May 30, 2005. She was last seen getting into a car with van der Sloot and two of his friends.

The three men have been questioned repeatedly by police but have never been formally charged. staff and NBC News' Michelle Kosinski and Truus Bos contributed to this report.

Video: Search continues for Natalee Holloway


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