(VitalNews.org) – Years after the murder of Alabama high school senior Natalie Holloway, who was killed in Aruba in 2005, the man suspected of her slaying is finally back in the U.S. to face charges.
Joran van der Sloot, a Dutch citizen, had fled to Peru while investigators sought him in connection with Holloway’s murder. On Thursday, June 8, he boarded a plane in Peru along with FBI agents, landing in Birmingham, Alabama. Police took him directly to jail about a half-hour’s drive from the airport.
It is not clear yet whether van der Sloot will be directly charged with Holloway’s murder, but he is to be arraigned on extortion and wire fraud charges. Van der Sloot is accused of trying to pry $250,000 out of the dead girl’s mother, Beth Holloway, in exchange for a promise to show her the location of her daughter’s body.
After disappearing from her class trip in May 2005, Natalie Holloway’s disappearance transfixed the nation. U.S. news outlets and documentarians featured the case heavily in the years after the high school senior disappeared. Natalie Holloway’s body has never been found.
Van der Sloot’s lawyer, Maximo Altez, worked hard to stop his client’s extradition, filing court appeals to prevent the U.S. from grabbing his client. Altez claimed the Peruvian government did not notify van der Sloot of the extradition process coming his way, which Altez said was a “serious constitutional violation.” The appeals were unsuccessful.
U.S. prosecutors say van der Sloot asked Beth Holloway for $25,000 upfront, promising the rest of the $250,000 when Natalie Holloway’s body was officially identified. But van der Sloot was lying to Beth Holloway’s lawyer, John Kelly, according to American prosecutors.
Beth Holloway told Fox News that van der Sloot’s capture means there is a chance to get justice for her daughter. She said she was “blessed” to have her daughter for 18 years, and she has now missed her for the same amount of time. Beth Holloway called the past 18 years “long and painful.”
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