AMSTERDAM (AP) — Joran van der Sloot, the main suspect in the killing of a young woman in Peru last month and in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teenager Natalee Holloway, has mental problems, his mother has told a Dutch newspaper in an interview.

"My son is sick in his head," De Telegraaf quotes Anita van der Sloot as saying.

She says he traveled to Peru to avoid being committed to a mental institution in Aruba, where the family lives.

De Telegraaf's interview published Sunday is Anita van der Sloot's first public comment since her 22-year-old son was arrested on suspicion of killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores.

Police in Peru say Joran van der Sloot has confessed to the killing. He is due to be interviewed by a judge in Lima next week.