Van der Sloot confesses
CNN and other news sources around the world report that Joran Van der Sloot has confessed to killing Stephany Flores Ramirez. Formal charges are expected to be filed at any time. Van der Sloot will stand before a judge before he is transferred to one of three prisons in the area to await trial. Police will also hold a planned reenactment of the events that led to Flores’ death. According to Peruvian law, a defense attorney will be present.
Video from hotel security cameras shows the two entering Van der Sloot’s room together at 5 a.m. Sunday and Van der Sloot leaving alone four hours later with his bags. Police say Van der Sloot also left the hotel briefly at 8:10 a.m. and returned with two cups of coffee and bread purchased across the street at a supermarket. According to the AP, newspaper La Republica reported that Van der Sloot confessed to grabbing Flores by the neck and hitting her after she had looked up details on the Natalee Holloway case on his computer while he was out buying coffee.
There is no death penalty in Peru. Murder convictions carry a maximum of 35 years in prison, and it was not immediately clear if a confession could lead to a reduced sentence.
Van de Sloot was always suspected in the death of 18-year-old Holloway who vanished in 2005 while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba. Van der Sloot was arrested twice in the Holloway case. He was never charged. Natalee Holloway’s father Dave gave an exclusive interview by phone to “Good Morning America” today with reaction to the confession.
We now know that Van der Sloot also tried to extort $250 thousand from Natalee Holloway’s mother in exchange for information on how her daughter died and where her body can be found. He was paid $25,000 but never provided any concrete information on the case. Dave Holloway said this morning that he had no idea about the extortion attempt.