Natalee Holloway's mom: She's dead
Nearly six years ago, Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba.
Her mother, Beth Holloway, has been relentless in her pursuit of the truth in her daughter's case, which is still unsolved.
But on "The Early Show" Tuesday, when speaking about her new Lifetime TV series, Beth Holloway admitted she doesn't think her daughter is alive today.
She said she reached the realization after learning of the death of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, allegedly at the hands of Joran van der Sloot in Peru.
She said, "(When) I discovered ferocity in which he murdered Stephany Flores. That put it in perspective for me as to what transpired with Natalee."
Van der Sloot has been charged with Flores' murder and is a "person of interest" in Natalee Holloway's disappearance. Van der Sloot has been in a prison in Lima, Peru, since June 2010, pending trial. Van der Sloot admitted details of Flores' murder to a Peruvian newspaper last year, saying he hit Flores repeatedly after she looked at his laptop. He has, in recent years, admitted to involvement in Natalee Holloway's death and then recanted his accounts.
Holloway told Wragge, "It was after ... the shocking news. For me to hear that Joran had murdered another young woman, I think that's when it all came into perspective for me as to who this young man was, and he's a violent - he's a killer."
Prior to airing her new show, Lifetime also aired a documentary that showed video of Holloway visiting van der Sloot in prison last year in Peru.
Wragge asked Holloway to describe her experience of seeing him behind bars.
"I never could have imagined that I was going to be face-to-face with Joran in prison," Holloway said. "Opportunity presented itself. All parents missing a loved one will do anything and everything. And I decided, 'OK, I want to be face-to-face with him again."'
She said she was able to enter the prison with help from documentary filmmaker Peter De Vries and his team, but said she visited the prison like any other woman that day.
"It was Wednesday afternoon, Ladies' Day. I went through the proper protocol, and it just happened," she said.
Wragge asked if she was able to learn anything from talking to van der Sloot.
She responded, "No, really, as a mother, I didn't go there to get information from Joran. Because, obviously, we can't do that. We've known that's just not going to happen. We're going to go there to get information. Just remind him, I'm still there. Obviously, I'm not going to go anywhere. And show him how easy it was to walk in and be face-to-face with him."
She added, "What I think felt the best to me is when I walked out of there and left him in prison where he belongs."
Though Holloway is still looking for more information about her daughter's disappearance, she's now examining other disturbing and unsolved missing persons cases on her new Lifetime show called "Vanished with Beth Holloway."
Holloway told Wragge the show is an extension of what she's done before with families of missing relatives.
"I had been doing it quietly in the years before (the show)," she said. "It had been five years I had gone in to the search of a missing loved one, just working with law enforcement, helping to organize the search, connecting the family to resources. So now I feel like I had a larger platform, something I never imagined I would be able to help to the depths that we can now."
Holloway said her years of telling high school and college students about personal safety and travel safety have been therapeutic for her.
The show, however, has thrust her message to a larger audience.
"Within every 'Vanished' episode, there is a message of travel safety, personal safety, whether it's something as simple as what we think as parents as the buddy system or bringing your plans full circle, which is how do you want to end your outing at night. So those messages are there, they're the ones we've taught our children all their lives, but I think now they're in such a powerful format, it can open up conversations with your young adults (about) choices to make."
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