Exactly five years to the day that Beth Holloway's daughter Natalee disappeared in Aruba on a class trip, another young woman was murdered by the prime suspect in Natalee's case. Joran van der Sloot confessed to killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores in a Peru hotel room, a murder with eerily similar circumstances to Natalee's death. Even though Natalee's case remains unsolved, Beth says that Flores' death has helped her accept her daughter's own fate.
"When I saw the ferocity of how he murdered Stephany, it really kind all of brought it full-circle to me then as to what happened to Natalee," Beth tells Oprah in an interview from "Oprah: Where Are They Now?". "That really marked my journey as far as beginning to accept -- not get the closure, but to understand -- that I now need to begin to find peace and joy, and to move on."
For years, Beth was unable to move on and found herself lost in the "what ifs" and "what could have beens" of Natalee's life. Today, however, Beth says that she doesn't get so caught up in the things she once did, such as celebrating Natalee's birthday and imagining exactly where she would be if she were still alive.
"I used to, but I think I'm trying to find joy and peace in other things, [like] through my son," Beth explains. "And I'm still really good friends with Natalee's girlfriends, so I feel like I can kind of enjoy Natalee through them."
The massive void she felt after her daughter's disappearance, Beth adds, was eventually able to shrink, allowing her to realize that she could even find happiness after the tragedy. This realization, coupled with sharing Natalee's story, has been critical to the grieving mother's healing.
"As I do the work and as I am speaking to groups across the country, I know that I'm making an impact on their lives," she says.
Not only does Beth speak on the issue of personal safety, but she also shares a deep connection with others who have lost a loved one. Along with sharing her support and empathy, Beth wants to believe that her experience can give hope to anyone facing such darkness.
"It just breaks my heart, because I know the journey they're about to be on," Beth says. "There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope... And I will continue to reach out to people with my message of hope, as I said, and how to endure in the face of adversity."
Although her body has never been found, Natalee was declared legally dead by an Alabama judge in 2012.
Also in the interview: Beth discusses how van der Sloot tried to sell her Natalee's remains.
"Oprah: Where Are They Now?" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on OWN, returning with all new episodes in March.