Natalie Holloway’s admitted killer returns to Peru
LIMA, Peru >> A Dutch man who recently confessed to killing American high school student Natalie Holloway in 2005 in Aruba was returned today to serve the remainder of his sentence for the murder of a Peruvian woman.
Joran van der Sloot arrived in Lima in the custody of law enforcement authorities. The South American country’s government agreed in June to temporarily extradite him to the United States to stand trial on extortion and wire fraud charges.
Van der Sloot was long the prime suspect in Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba, although authorities on the Dutch Caribbean island never prosecuted him. Then, in an interview with his lawyer conducted in the United States after his extradition, he admitted to beating the young woman to death on the beach after she rejected his advances. He said he threw her body into the sea.
Van der Sloot, 36, was charged in the United States with seeking a quarter of a million dollars to tell the Holloway family the location of her remains. The plea deal in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence required him to provide all the information he knew about Holloway’s disappearance, allow her parents to listen in real time to his discussion with law enforcement and take a polygraph test.
A video posted on social media by Peru’s National Police shows Van der Sloot, with his hands and feet bound, walking down the runway flanked by two Interpol agents, each holding his arms. He was wearing a pink short-sleeved shirt, jeans, tennis shoes, and a bulletproof vest that identified him as an Interpol detainee.
His sentence for extortion will coincide with prison time he is serving for murder in Peru, where in 2012 he pleaded guilty to the murder of 21-year-old Stephanie Flores, a business student from a prominent Peruvian family. She was murdered in 2010, five years to the day after Holloway disappeared.
Van der Sloot was transferred between Peruvian prisons while serving his 28-year sentence in response to reports that he enjoyed privileges such as television, Internet and mobile phone access and accusations that he had threatened to kill a prison guard. Before being extradited to the United States, he was placed in a prison in a remote region in the Andes, called Chalapalca, 4,600 meters (about 15,090 feet) above sea level.
Holloway disappeared during his high school graduation trip. She was last seen on May 30, 2005, leaving a bar with Van der Sloot. The judge eventually declared her dead, but her body was never found.
Holloway’s family has long sought answers about her disappearance, and Van der Sloot has given shifting accounts over the years. He said at one point that Holloway was buried in gravel under the house’s foundation but later admitted that was not true.
Five years after the murder, the FBI recorded a blackmail attempt in which Van der Sloot asked Beth Holloway to pay him $250,000 to tell her where to find her daughter’s body. He agreed to accept $25,000 to uncover the site and ask for the other $225,000 once the remains were recovered.
Before being arrested in the extortion case, Van der Sloot fled by moving from Aruba to Peru.
After his recent confession to killing Holloway became public, prosecutors in Aruba requested documents from the US Department of Justice to determine whether any action would be taken against Van der Sloot.