The disappearance of Natalee Holloway has been one of the most well-known mysteries of the past two decades. She was last seen on May 30, 2005, while on a high school graduation trip in Aruba in the Caribbean – she was just 18 years old at the time and had graduated high school one week prior.
Holloway was last seen with three locals – Joran van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe, and Satish Kalpoe – at a nightclub the night before she was scheduled to fly home. All three locals were treated as suspects and arrested on numerous occasions, but a lack of evidence has let them off scot-free – until now, that is.
While her body has yet to be found and no murder charges are being filed, Joran van der Sloot is now being extradited to the United States from Peru – where he’s currently serving 28 years in prison for an unrelated murder in 2010 – on extortion and wire fraud charges related to Holloway’s disappearance.
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Joran van der Sloot was indicted on the charges back in 2010 – the same year he was arrested for the unrelated murder – when a grand jury found that he tried to extort the family of Natalee Holloway for hundreds of thousands of dollars after she went missing. Holloway was pronounced dead in 2012.
van der Sloot promised to disclose the location of Natalee’s body to the family, but asked for an up-front payment of $25,000 and another $225,000 once the remains were found. The family didn’t trust the suspect and decided to work with authorities, who underwent a sting operation to reveal the truth.
During the sting operation, which occurred in 2010, van der Sloot led authorities to a property where Natalee’s body was allegedly buried, but he later admitted to lying about the location. A couple weeks later, on the five-year anniversary of Holloway’s disappearance, he killed 21-year-old Stephany Flores.
On May 10, 2023 – exactly 13 years after van der Sloot accepted a $15,000 payment from the family of Natalee Holloway – Peru’s Minister of Justice Daniel Maurate accepted the United States’ request for the temporary transfer of van der Sloot. He will now stand trial for the extortion and wire fraud charges.
Mother of Natalee Holloway Excited for Justice to be Served
Beth Holloway, the mother of Natalee Holloway, is happy to learn that justice is finally being served in the disappearance and murder of her 18-year-old daughter nearly 18 years ago. While her body still has yet to be found and murder charges have yet to be filed in the case, this is a small and much-needed win.
“She would be 36 years old now. It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee,” Holloway said in a statement. It hasn’t been easy for the family, but they believe the recent charges are a major step in the right direction.
As for Joran van der Sloot, he’s being represented by attorney Maximo Altez – who intends to fight the decision once he receives proper notification from the Peruvian government. “I am going to challenge that resolution. I am going to oppose it since he has the right to a defense,” Altez said in a recent statement.
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Over the past 18 years, van der Sloot has maintained his innocence and has previously (more than 10 years ago) said he would fight any efforts to extradite him to the United States on any charges. While a trial date hasn’t been set, more information will be released upon his entry into the United States.
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