Has Beth Holloway Twitty, the mother of Natalee Holloway, hurt her efforts to bring Joran van der Sloot to justice?
The mother of the missing Alabama teen has come under some fire after reportedly sneaking into a Peruvian jail to confront the main suspect in her daughter's disappearance.
Twitty's attorney confirms his client did, in fact, meet briefly with van der Sloot. But now questions are being raised as to whether her actions could ultimately undermine her quest for justice.
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The last time Twitty came face to face with van der Sloot was the night after her daughter disappeared. This meeting was reportedly very brief, but dramatic.
Van der Sloot has been behind bars for three and a half months now locked inside Peru's notorious Castro Castro prison charged with the brutal murder of a 22-year-old Peruvian woman, Stephany Flores.
According to authorities, Twitty came face-to-face with van der Sloot, who has long been the prime suspect in her 18-year-old daughter's disappearance on the island of Aruba five and a half years ago.
Apparently Holloway snuck into the prison without being identified and carrying a hidden camera, aided by a Dutch TV reporter doing a special on her.
Twitty, who spent about five minutes with him, allegedly began the meeting telling him she had "no hate in her soul" for him.
He is said to have responded by handing her his attorney's business card and saying he couldn't speak without his lawyer present.
RadarOnline went further, claiming she asked direct questions about Natalee's disappearance, but he refused to answer.
John Q. Kelly, Twitty's attorney, confirmed only that she is in Peru, saying, "She's a mother without a daughter. She wants to bring her daughter home."
Authorities in Peru reportedly quickly removed her from the prison.
Peruvian immigration records obtained by the AP show that Twitty arrived in Peru on September 11 and departed early Friday, bound for Panama.
Michael Griffith, an international criminal attorney, said on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning" that Twitty did a very inappropriate thing.
"She used very bad judgment," Griffith said, adding that her visit could hurt her case against van der Sloot. "She's a complainant in a case in Alabama for extortion, where van der Sloot (allegedly) took money from her. Since she's a possible witness, this could be construed as possible witness tampering. I don't know what he said to her, but even if he was inclined to speak to her, by bringing ... the reporter who had already once tricked van der Sloot into giving a confession, I'm sure he would have shut up seeing him there with Mrs. Twitty."
Griffith added it's unlikely Twitty will face charges for her contact with van der Sloot, but it could "certainly" hurt her case in the U.S. for extortion.
U.S. law enforcement officials say van der Sloot extorted $10,000 from Twitty after offering to lead Twitty's attorney to Holloway's body in Aruba, then used the money to fly to Lima.
Griffith said, "The U.S. maintains jurisdiction over their citizens who have been harmed around the world ... we maintain in our embassies, for example, in Peru, there is an FBI office. They could cut a deal with van der Sloot's lawyers down there to have him tell where the body is, because he's going to be facing charges in the United States and he could conceivably help himself by cooperating."
But how could Twitty get into the prison?
Griffith, who has visited a Peruvian prison, said, "Usually, in the old days, the security was very lax." He remarked that, once finding himself trapped in a Peruvian jail, "for a couple of cigarettes I was able to get out.
"But the Miguel Castro Castro is a very difficult prison to get into. You have to go through a body scanner and have to give a passport. I don't know how she got in there. And if she did something inappropriate, she could face charges down there."