Joran van der Sloot, prime suspect in Natalee Holloway disappearance, arrives in U.S.


Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American Natalee Holloway in Aruba, arrived in the United States to face charges of extortion and wire fraud. On Thursday, van der Sloot was transferred to U.S. law enforcement custody in Lima, Peru, and a plane departed at 9 a.m. Eastern carrying him to Birmingham, Alabama. It was unclear when he might first appear in a U.S. court.

van der Sloot was indicted in the U.S. on extortion and wire fraud charges in 2010 in connection with an offer he allegedly made to sell information about the whereabouts of Holloway’s remains to her mother, Beth, for $250,000. The indictment alleges that Beth Holloway paid van der Sloot some of that money directly, and made another payment through a lawyer, but the information turned out to be false.

van der Sloot, a Dutch national, lived on the Caribbean island nation of Aruba when then 18-year-old Holloway went missing during a high school senior trip. She was last seen alive leaving a bar with van der Sloot; but noone has ever been charged in her disappearance, and her body has never been found. In 2012, an Alabama judge declared her deceased.

van der Sloot is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, whom he confessed to killing in his hotel room in Lima. Temporary extradition is allowed under the terms of a 2001 treaty between the U.S. and Peru, where a suspect can face trial in the other country. van der Sloot will remain in the U.S. until the end of the American criminal proceedings, and is then expected to be returned to Peru to complete his sentence.

Editorial credit: Pamela Au /