EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World News

June 4, 2010

Holloway suspect held in Peru killing

LIMA, Peru (AP) — He was the last person to see two young women alive — one in Aruba, one in Peru exactly five years later, police say. Joran van der Sloot was caught in a taxi yesterday, several days drive and a country away from the Lima hotel room where the second woman was found face down with a broken neck.

A fixture on TV true-crime shows after Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba, the 22-year-old Dutchman did not speak or even turn his head when photographers shouted his name as Chilean police officers escorted him, without handcuffs, into a Santiago police office for questioning.

Aruban authorities didn't prosecute van der Sloot even after he was caught on video saying he had asked a friend to dump Holloway's body. The Alabama woman's family was outraged by how Aruban authorities handled the case, and now the family of another young woman wants to make sure they get justice.

"This isn't a coincidence, this murder," Stephany Flores' anguished father, Lima entertainment impresario Ricardo Flores, told reporters after van der Sloot's arrest.

Van der Sloot was arrested the same day he was charged in Alabama with trying to extort $250,000 in return for giving the location of Holloway's body and describing the circumstances of Holloway's death. Federal prosecutors did not say who was allegedly extorted, but filed a sworn statement saying that van der Sloot got a partial payment of $15,000 wired to a Netherlands bank.

His daughter's neck was broken Sunday in a hotel room registered to van der Sloot, who police believe met the 21-year-old University of Lima business student for the first time the previous night at a nearby casino. Her body was found by a maid late Tuesday.

Flores, a 48-year-old former race car driver and sometime politician, called on authorities to immediately bring van der Sloot to Peru to face justice.

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