Joran van der Sloot's Mom Says He 'Could Have Done Something' to Peruvian Woman

Van der Sloot's mother says son should have gotten help after Holloway death.

June 16, 2010, 6:40 PM

June 19, 2010— -- Anita van der Sloot was quoted today in a Dutch newspaper saying her 22-year-old son Joran van der Sloot "could have done something" to Stephany Flores, the Peruvian woman he is accused of murdering.

The interview comes a day after ABC News obtained an e-mail from Anita van der Sloot in which she asserted that her son is "not a murderer."

Anita van der Sloot has stayed out of the limelight as her son and even her husband Paul van der Sloot, who died earlier this year, were vilified -- especially in the U.S. media.

In the e-mail obtained exclusively by ABC News, she said she would never talk to the U.S. media because of how he was portrayed, but she gave an extensive interview to De Telegraaf in which she admitted she thought the family made a mistake by not getting Joran psychiatric help after his arrest in the Natalee Holloway case.

"He lied so much, that we became desperate. He said to me too, 'Mom, I sometimes don't know any more if something is a lie or the truth,'" the paper quoted her as saying. "Joran is sick in his head, but he didn't want any help."

She indicated that she feared that the pressures created by being the prime suspect in the death of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway five years ago in Aruba may have caused her son to snap.

"I now believe that Joran may indeed have done something to Stephany in Peru. Maybe in a burst of anger? I don't know," she said, according to the newspaper. "I think it is intensely sad that that businessman Flores has lost his daughter, and I my son. That's how it feels."

Flores' body was found five years to the day after Holloway went missing, and she said that coincidence couldn't help but make an impact on her.

"Exactly five years after Natalee's disappearance? The Holloways were busy with him. That businessman Flores held a press conference and only spoke about Natalee. But it was about his own daughter," she said. "Sometimes I just don't know. I follow everything ... But I have to keep distance too, save myself now."

And she said she thinks it is time to "let Joran go."

She said she spoke to him on the telephone the day before he was arrested attempting to flee Peru for Chile, as police searched for him in the death of the young woman Stephany Flores in his Lima hotel room.

"I said, 'Joran, you're being searched for, internationally. A girl is dead. Where are you?'" she said, according to the newspaper. "He sounded frightened. 'A girl dead?' Then he fell silent for a moment and said, 'It's not Stephany, is it? No, not Stephany!' I told him he had to turn himself in.

"If only he had listened to his mother. Then this never would have happened. If he hadn't been so been so hounded, maybe not either. It's: 'if, if if…' But if he killed Stephany, then he will have to carry the burden of that," she said. "I will not visit him in his cell, I cannot embrace him. But he should get a fair trial. He is psychologically disturbed. That has to count for something, right?"

Whatever happened to Flores in that Lima hotel room last month, she told the Dutch newspaper she has never wavered in her belief that her son did not kill Holloway.

"I believed Joran. Despite his many lies. I felt that he didn't have anything to do with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in 2005," she said. "He had left her on the beach. I still believe that."

She described her son as a loving boy, but said that something happened to him as he grew up.

"He was a sweet kid, who loved animals and his grandma. Happy, open," she said. "He lost his way along the way. It was gradual.

"After he was arrested for Natalee's disappearance, he was traumatized," the paper quoted her as saying. "We then made a big mistake. We sent him to the Netherlands to study. He should have gone to a closed clinic, he needed psychological help even back then. He wasn't getting any rest, he was being persecuted."

Things took a turn for the worse after he was secretly videotaped as he talked about Holloway's death in a rambling conversation. Much of it was shot as he rode in an SUV with Patrick van der Eem, a man working with Dutch journalist Peter R. de Vries. Joran van der Sloot appears to admit he was present when Holloway died and that he helped dump her body in the ocean.

Joran thought van der Eem was his friend.

"When he walked into Peter R. de Vries' trap, things went downhill even faster," Anita van der Sloot said. "I've seen the raw tapes of the undercover action. His confession was also an impressive feat of editing. Joran was trying to impress. That wasn't right.

"After that, people started pointing fingers at him," she said. "He pretended like it didn't affect him. Joran was trying to appear tough ..."

Then, according to the paper, she held her fingers just a little bit apart as she said, "He has a heart like this, even as a little kid," invoking the Dutch expression that having a small heart means you are somewhere between being sensitive and easily scared.

In the e-mail given to close confidante and ex-girlfriend of Joran's, Melody Granadillo, Anita van der Sloot sounded frustrated and angry.

"I am not giving interviews to any American media station because I don't trust them. Stay safe and pray for Joran. He is not the monster they like the world to see. he is traumatized, depressed an has an addiction. He is not a murderer. It stinks and feels like a big trap set up for him," the e-mail said.

ABC News' Chris Cuomo sat down exclusively to talk to Granadillo about the man she knew in an interview that aired Friday on "20/20."

Granadillo, 23, met van der Sloot when she was 16 and their teenage love affair blossomed.

"It was real," Granadillo told Cuomo. "We liked looking into each other's eyes."

In a diary that she and van der Sloot kept together, Melody has saved poetry and e-mails he sent to her.

In one entitled "Unforgotten..Unforgettable Love," van der Sloot wrote, "I don't quite remember the time or how you did your hair. I don't recall what was on my mind or who else was there. Filled with the tenderness and sincerity of a first love .... Our noses rubbed before our lips touched. I remember never wanting anyone so much ... It was the moment when I fell in love with you." Granadillo licensed a selection of materials she has kept for years to ABC News.

Granadillo told Cuomo that the young Dutch boy who told her her eyes were prettier than the stars was now a changed man.

"I know that he has a gambling problem, so I thought maybe that was taking over," Granadillo said.

Despite their breakup, Granadillo never lost contact with van der Sloot, staying in touch through the disappearance of Natalee Holloway and up until his now-infamous trip to Peru.

Granadillo talked to Cuomo about the Holloway's disappearance and her contact with van der Sloot during his trip to Peru where he met and allegedly killed Flores.

On the day that van der Sloot was arrested for the murder of Flores, Granadillo says she received a text message from van der Sloot asking him for money to buy a ticket back to Aruba. In the text message van der Sloot reportedly wrote, "I have some cash with me still so I am fine just lost the bank card and the ticket back today is 520 I would have liked to be able to be back today but cant do anything about it so much bad luck sometimes."

Van der Sloot's text messages stopped as Granadillo heard about the murder of Flores.

"I did feel guilty," Granadillo said. "Maybe if I had stayed in his life, you know, nothing would have happened."

ABC News' Chris Vlasto, Jim DuBreuil and Cleopatra Andreadis contributed to this report.

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events