Joran van der Sloot Confesses to Murder in Peru Five Years After Natalee Holloway's Disappearance
Editor's update, June 9: According to CNN, it's possible van der Sloot may have used extortion money to fund his trip to Peru:
The FBI paid Joran van der Sloot $25,000 in an undercover investigation of a plot to extort money from Natalee Holloway's mother, a federal law enforcement official told CNN Wednesday.
The story has a sickening familiarity: in the early hours of the morning of May 30, a young woman left a nightclub in the company of a wealthy Dutch playboy named Joran van der Sloot. She would never make it home.
In 2005, the place was Aruba and the young woman was Alabama high school senior Natalee Holloway. Despite an exhaustive search and the arrest of van der Sloot and two others, her body was never found and no one was ever charged.
Last week, though, the place was Lima, Peru, and the woman was 21-year-old business student Stephany Flores, daughter of a prominent Peruvian family. She had been playing in a poker tournament and when she didn't come home, her family went searching and called police. This time, there was closed circuit video of van der Sloot bringing her to his hotel room and leaving that room four hours later, carrying luggage. He reportedly told hotel staff not to bother "his girl." Her body was found three days later.
This time, after three days in police custody, there are reports of a confession. News reports say Van der Sloot, 22, told police that he beat Flores to death in his hotel room because he was enraged that he looked up information about him on his laptop. He reportedly told investigators, "The girl intruded into my private life. She had no right."
Meanwhile, Natalee Holloway's father told ABC News that he hopes van der Sloot will make a full confession that includes finally coming clean about what happened to his daughter. A Peruvian newspaper is reporting that authorities in Colombia are investigating what role van der Sloot might have played in the disappearance of two young women there who had been seen partying with him during a visit to that country earlier in May.
In Holland, an attorney who has worked for the van der Sloot family in the past suggested that he and Joran's mother worry that confession might have been coerced, according to Dutch newspapers. Joran's father, who had been also been questioned in Natalee Holloway's disappearance, died suddenly last February. Count Shay Riley at Booker Rising among those who really don't care whether the Peruvian police treat him nicely:
"Cue the world's tiniest violin as Radio Netherlands Worldwide states: "For Peru, Joran van der Sloot is principally a matter of prestige. His rights and privacy are secondary to the country’s desire to show off to the world with its handling of the Stephany Flores murder case."
Meanwhile speculation is rife about the possible connection between Flores' murder and the disappearance of Natalee Holloway. Zennie Abraham's Sfgate.com blog summarizes reports from Fox News claiming van der Sloot offered to tell Natalee's mother, Beth Holloway, how her daughter died in exchange for $250,000. Working with authorities Beth Holloway reportedly gave van der Sloot $10,000 at a meeting in Aruba, and wired $25,000 more in an extortion sting.
According to an NPR report, Beth Holloway is not speaking about the investigation into her daughter's disappearance on the advice of the FBI. Holloway did talk about the opening of the Natalee Holloway Resource Center in Washington DC. The center's mission is to support families of missing persons.
According to MSNBC, if convicted, Joran van der Sloot faces 35 years in prison.
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