A man has admitted to killing a woman 20 years ago, as well as attempting to extort $250,000 from the victim’s mother.
Joran Van Der Sloot pleaded guilty to attempted extortion, and as part of a plea deal he had to reveal how 18-year-old American Natalee Holloway died.
He said he beat Ms Holloway to death on a beach on the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005, after she spurned his advances.
His admission puts an end to nearly 20 years of speculation surrounding the case.
Van Der Sloot has not been charged with her murder, but his extortion plea allowed police to find out what happened in the 2005 incident.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s over,” Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mother, told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Alabama, her daughter’s home state.
“Joran Van Der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder. He is the killer.”
Dutch citizen Van Der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of another woman in Peru.
Peru’s government approved Van Der Sloot’s extradition to the US in May to face trials for alleged extortion and wire fraud charges linked to the Holloway case.
Ms Holloway, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama, disappeared on a night out with friends and was last seen leaving a bar with Van Der Sloot, who was a student at an international school on the island.
In his confession, he added he pushed her body into the sea. Her body was never found.
The Associated Press said court documents show his confession, which he provided while under a polygraph test.
The 36-year-old pleaded guilty to wire fraud in exchange for a 20-year sentence, that will run concurrently with his 28-year sentence for killing Stephany Flores in 2010.
Sentencing, Judge Anna Manasco said he had “brutally murdered” two women only years apart “who refused your sexual advances”.
Wearing an orange jumpsuit, Van Der Sloot, said: “I would like the chance to apologise to the Holloway family, my own family.
“I am no longer the person I was back then.”
In her impact statement, Beth Holloway said: “You look like hell, Joran.”
A lawyer acting for Ms Holloway’s father, Dave, said he understood that the Dutchman could not be prosecuted in Aruba, because the statute of limitations had expired.