Natalee Holloway suspect Joran van der Sloot to be extradited to US, Beth Holloway says
Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an American, who vanished while on a high school graduation class trip in Aruba, will be extradited to the United States from Peru, her family said Wednesday.
Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway, announced the news in a statement.
“Almost exactly eighteen years later, her perpetrator, Joran van der Sloot, has been extradited to Birmingham to answer for his crimes,” she said.
Peruvian authorities agreed to extradite Van der Sloot, who is serving a 28-year prison sentence for the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian Stephany Flores in 2010.
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The Peruvian government has agreed to temporarily hand over the Dutch citizen to American authorities “for his prosecution in the United States for the alleged commission of the crimes of extortion and fraud, to the grievance of Elizabeth Ann Holloway,” Peru Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Daniel Maurate Romero, said in a statement.
Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru’s ambassador to the U.S., said he hopes “this action will enable a process that will help to bring peace to Mrs. Holloway and to her family, who are grieving in the same way that the Flores family in Peru is grieving for the loss of their daughter.”
Van der Sloot is one of the main suspects in the disappearance of Holloway, who failed to appear for her flight home to Alabama on May 30, 2005, in Aruba.
The 18-year-old was last seen leaving a bar early that morning with the young Dutchman. Her body was never found and the ensuing searches for the young woman would reap intense media scrutiny and worldwide attention. She was declared legally dead in 2014.
Van der Sloot was arrested at one point in connection with Holloway’s disappearance but was later released for lack of evidence. The disappearance garnered worldwide attention and sparked a media frenzy.
Ted Williams, a criminal defense attorney and Fox News contributor who covered the Holloway case on the ground in Aruba dating back to 2005, called news of Van der Sloot’s extradition “fantastic.”
“I am elated and I think that it is fantastic that Joran van der Sloot will be extradited to the United States and will be charged will some criminal acts associated with Natalee Holloway,” he told Fox News Digital.
“All the Holloway family has wanted is for Joran to face justice and now they may very well have that justice.”
Authorities have not announced what type f charges Van der Sloot could face. Williams said he anticipates him to be handed over to federal authorities once he touches U.S. soil but doesn’t expect him to confess to anything or make any statements.
He added the legal process could be “long and drawn out” depending on what charges are imposed.
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Flores was killed five years to the day Holloway, who was from Alabama, disappeared. Van der Sloot told police he killed the woman in Peru in a fit of rage after she discovered on his laptop his connection to the disappearance of Holloway. Police forensic experts disputed the claim.
In her statement, Beth Holloway noted that her daughter would be 36-years-old today.
It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off,” she said. “Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee.”