Joran Van der Sloot's Mom: My Son is Sick in Head

Updated: Saturday, 19 Jun 2010, 10:24 AM EDT
Published : Saturday, 19 Jun 2010, 10:24 AM EDT

NEWSCORE - Joran van der Sloot, the Dutchman accused of murdering a Peruvian woman and suspected in the disappearance of an American teen, is sick in the head, his mother said in an interview published Saturday in De Telegraaf.

"Joran is sick in his head, but he didn't want help," Anita van der Sloot told the Dutch newspaper.

She said her son displayed signs of paranoia and blamed himself for his father’s unexpected death earlier this year. He had agreed to be hospitalized but instead left for Peru, leaving only a note saying he was going there to play in a poker tournament, she said.

Joran van der Sloot is accused of the May 30 death of Stephany Flores, 21, who was found beaten to death in his Lima hotel room.

He is also a prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American Natalee Holloway, 18, who went missing after a night of drinking with him on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

Anita van der Sloot also told De Telegraaf her son was not a monster, a statement she repeated to ABC News.

"He is not the monster they like the world to see. He is traumatized, depressed and has an addiction. He is not a murderer. It stinks and feels like a big trap set up for him," she said in an email to the network.

ABC's "20/20" aired an interview in the U.S. Friday night in which a former girlfriend of his insisted the young man she dated was a thoughtful romantic -- and not a cold-blooded lady killer.

Melody Granadillo, 23, said she dated van der Sloot for seven months when she was 16 and recalled a sensitive, fun-loving kid whom she nicknamed Chi Chi and Mr. Wiggles.

"He was amazing," Granadillo told ABC. "He was romantic."

The teens met at a friend's birthday party in 2003 in Aruba, long before van der Sloot became a murder suspect.

"We could sit and talk for hours," she said. "We liked looking into each other's eyes."

They eventually went their separate ways, due in part to Joran van der Sloot's ability to lie so easily.

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