After a long and arduous search for justice, Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway, is to be extradited to the United States from Peru. This news was announced by Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway, in an emotional statement. Van der Sloot, who is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for the murder of 21-year-old Peruvian Stephany Flores in 2010, is being extradited to the US to face extortion and fraud charges.
The events leading up to Holloway’s disappearance saw her last seen leaving a bar in Aruba with Van der Sloot early on May 30, 2005. An extensive public search took place with media coverage and worldwide attention, but Natalee’s body was not found, and she was eventually declared legally dead in 2014. Although Van der Sloot was arrested in connection with her disappearance, he was released due to lack of evidence.
The Peruvian government approves the US-bound transfer, with Peru Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Daniel Maurate Romero, saying that “this action will enable a process that will help to bring peace to Mrs. Holloway and to her family.” Criminal defense attorney Ted Williams, who has been covering the case since 2005, commented on the news, saying it was “fantastic” but that the legal process could be “long and drawn out” depending on the charges.
Van der Sloot had previously told the police he killed Flores in a fit of rage after she found evidence on his laptop of his involvement in the Holloway case. Yet police forensic experts disputed this account. In her statement, Beth Holloway noted that her deceased daughter Natalee would have been 36 this year and expressed gratitude that justice may finally be possible.
The extradition of Joran van der Sloot to answer for his alleged crimes is a significant step in the search for justice for Natalee Holloway and her family. After almost eighteen years, their persistence is finally paying off, and it is to be hoped that their suffering will come to an end with a resolution for the case.