Suspect in American student’s 2005 disappearance to be extradited to US
The government of Peru has approved the extradition of a Dutch citizen on charges related to the disappearance of an American student in 2005.
Joran van der Sloot, thought to be one of the last people to see American student Natalee Holloway alive, will be extradited to the United States to faces charges of extortion and wire fraud.
Holloway, then 18, disappeared on the Caribbean island of Aruba, where she was on a trip with 124 other gradautes of Mountain Brook High School in Alabama.
She was last seen leaving a nightclub around 1.30am on May 30, 2005 with van der Sloot, then 17, and two Surinamese brothers, later identified as Deepak Kalpoe, 21, and Satish Kalpoe, 18.
Van der Sloot and Kalpoe brothers were detained and investigated as suspects, but Holloway’s body was never found.
Van der Sloot told police in Aruba that he had driven to the island’s California Lighthouse on Arashi Beach, because Holloway ‘wanted to see sharks.’ He then said he dropped her off at the Holiday Inn she was staying at around 2.00am.
All three suspects were released after prosecutors determined charges could not be filed.
Van der Sloot’s current charges are related to extorting Holloway’s family for information about her death. In March 2010, Van der Sloot contacted Holloway’s family and promised to lead them to her body and identify her killers for a cash reward.
He accepted $25,000 from the grieving family up front, and demanded a full payment of $225,000 after leading them to Holloway’s body.
A redacted witness met with Van der Sloot in Aruba and paid the $25,000, then drove with him to the spot where he said he buried Holloway in 2005.
‘They drove to a house located at [redacted],’ the affidavit written by an FBI agent reads. ‘Once there, van der Sloot pointed to the residence and said that Natalee Holloway’s body would be found in the foundation of the house.’
Van der Sloot told the witness ‘he had thrown her to the ground after she had attempted to stop him from leaving her. Van der Sloot claimed that when she fell down, she hit her head on a rock and died as a result of the impact.’
But Holloway’s body was never found in the house’s foundation. Van der Sloot later admitted to lying about the location.
Years later, Van der Sloot was arrested in Peru for the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores. She was killed on May 30, 2010 – exactly five years after Holloway’s death in Aruba.
Flores was found beaten then strangled in a hotel room in Lima. Van der Sloot confessed to the crime, but later tried to recant the confession, stating that he was being set up by Peruvian police and the FBI.
Van der Sloot is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru. He is required to return to the country after his judicial proceedings are finished in the United States.
‘She would be 36 years old now,’ Natalee’s mother Beth Holloway said in a statement. ‘It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee.’
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