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Van der Sloot admits Holloway family extortion plot: 'Why not?'

A Dutchman suspected in the disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway has reportedly confessed to a newspaper in his home country that he extorted money from the girl's parents.
/ Source: NBC News and news services

A Dutchman suspected in the disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway reportedly confessed to a newspaper in his home country that he extorted money from the girl's parents.

"I wanted to get back at Natalee's family — her parents have been making my life tough for five years," the De Telegraaf newspaper quoted Joran Van der Sloot as saying in an interview published Monday.

"When they offered to pay for the girl's location, I thought: 'Why not?'" he added, according to the newspaper.

Van der Sloot is currently in jail in Peru, charged in a separate case with killing a 21-year-old woman there.

A federal grand jury in Alabama has indicted him on charges of wire fraud and extortion in relation to the Holloway case. He was the last person seen with Holloway before the girl vanished on the last night of a high school graduation trip to Aruba.

Van der Sloot has publicly said he killed her and then retracted his confession several times.

He was arrested twice in connection to the disappearance, but released both times for a lack of evidence.

U.S. indictment
Federal officials said at the time of the U.S. indictment in June that Van der Sloot contacted an attorney for Holloway's mother, Beth, allegedly offering to reveal the location of the teenager's body in exchange for $250,000.

The federal indictment alleges that Van der Sloot contacted Beth Holloway's attorney in the spring of 2010 to advise that he "knew the whereabouts of Natalee Holloway's remains in Aruba, and to demand a payment" of $250,000 for the information.

Van der Sloot would show the attorney "the specific location of Natalee Holloway's remains and provide specific details concerning the manner of her death, how her remains were disposed of initially, and how her remains came to be in the specified location" for an initial payment of $25,000, the court documents claim.

The lawyer, John Kelly, contacted the FBI, which secretly recorded video of him giving Van der Sloot $10,000 in cash in Aruba on May 10 while $15,000 was wired to a bank account in the Dutchman's name, prosecutors said.

Van der Sloot took Kelly to a site in Aruba, but Holloway's remains were not there, prosecutors said, and later admitted in an e-mail that he had provided "worthless" information.

Stephany Flores murder
Five years to the month after Holloway's disappearance, Van der Sloot became a suspect in the murder of Stephany Flores, who was found brutally murdered in a hotel room in Lima, Peru, three days after she met the suspect at a casino.

He allegedly broke her nose, strangled her, threw her to the floor then emptied her wallet and drove away in her SUV, Gen. Cesar Guardia, chief of the criminal police, said in June.

Guardia said Van der Sloot confessed that he killed Flores, the daughter of a circus promoter and former race car driver, because she found out about the Aruba case by using his laptop without his permission.

The 6-foot-3 Van der Sloot allegedly took about $300 worth of Peruvian currency, two credit cards and Flores' national ID card, Guardia said.

The officer said the suspect abandoned her car in a lower-class Lima neighborhood before fleeing south to Chile by bus.

If convicted on the murder and robbery charges, Van der Sloot is likely to be sentenced to between 15 and 35 years in prison, court spokesman Luis Gallardo told the AP in June.

"The aggravating factors are having acted with ferocity and great cruelty," said a news release issued by the court that announced the charges.