ORANJESTAD, Aruba - Fourteen years later, Natalee Hollway's mother, Beth Holloway, still remembers the first time she stood face to face in Aruba with Jordan van der Sloot, the man she believes is responsible for her daughter's disappearance.
"I thought, 'You're it,'" Beth Holloway told "20/20" in an exclusive interview. "Did I know what was to come? No. But I knew that I was gonna hang onto him 'til my last breath."
Beth Holloway last summer returned to Aruba 14 years after her daughter's disappearance. Natalee Holloway was an 18-year-old high school senior celebrating her graduation in 2005 with members of her senior class when she was first reported missing.
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She was last seen on May 30, 2005, leaving a bar called Carlos'n Charlie's in Oranjestad, and getting into a gray Honda with van der Sloot and two of his friends.
Van der Sloot was a 17-year-old Dutch national at the time. He has never been charged in connection with Holloway’s disappearance.
When Beth Holloway, Aruba police officers and other Alabama parents went to visit the van der Sloot home to ask about Natalee Holloway’s disappearance, the same Honda she was last seen getting into was parked outside.
During that meeting, van der Sloot told Beth Holloway that the night her daughter went missing, he had fooled around with her, then returned her to the Holiday Inn where she was staying.
But surveillance footage showed no evidence that Holloway returned to the hotel that night.
Van der Sloot’s story has changed multiple times over the years. In a 2006 interview with ABC News, he said he last saw Natalee Holloway on the beach the night she disappeared, and went home.
Natalee Holloway was officially declared dead in January 2012. Her mother is still convinced that Jordan van der Sloot had a hand in her disappearance.
"He's a monster," she told ABC News. "I know that he was responsible for the demise of Natalee. And I'll never, never not believe that. I made a pledge that I will share everything that I have learned. So, that's what I did."
It looks like paradise...but this is where Beth Holloway's world fell apart nearly 15 years ago when her daughter Natalee vanished. #ABC2020 starts at 9/8c on ABC. @DebRobertsABC reports. https://t.co/fIzQTxboH8 pic.twitter.com/TCgzS9QpKD— 20/20 (@ABC2020) November 22, 2019
In 2012, van der Sloot pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores. She was found beaten to death in a hotel room rented by van der Sloot in Lima, Peru.
During her latest visit to Aruba, Beth Holloway said it was “the first time today I’ve been really able to just look at the ocean, enjoy the ocean and feel it and just sit on the beach.”
“Every time I looked out at the ocean, I couldn’t handle it. It just disturbed me greatly. Because it made me feel as if I was never going to get an answer as to what happened to Natalee. But I feel like I have accomplished a huge feat… I can come back now to Aruba. I can get in the water… It feels great.”
Watch “20/20” at 9 p.m. on WFTV Channel 9, before Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 11.
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