Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in Natalee Holloway’s 2005 disappearance, will face the U.S. criminal justice system just over 18 years after Holloway was last seen during a high school senior trip to Aruba.
Holloway went missing during the Mountain Brook High School Class of 2005’s trip, and the FBI said she was last seen the evening of May 29, 2005, leaving Carlos ‘N Charlie’s Nightclub in Oranjestad. Holloway was leaving the area with three men around 1:30 a.m., including van der Sloot. She didn’t return to her hotel room at the Holiday Inn and was never seen again.
Holloway, 18 years old at the time of her disappearance, would have been 36 today.
While police initially arrested van der Sloot, he was released due to a lack of evidence against him.
A 2010 federal indictment alleges van der Sloot extorted Beth Holloway by making her pay $250,000 to learn where her daughter’s remains were located. After a deposit of $25,000 was paid, van der Sloot allegedly lied to Beth Holloway’s lawyer, John Q. Kelly, about where her daughter’s remains were located, according to American prosecutors.
The FBI’s Birmingham, Alabama, field office worked the case, and charges were filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Whisonant, who prosecuted van der Sloot, told Fox News Digital he is “very confident” about evidence against van der Sloot.
“Well, I hope that this case will bring some measure of justice for Beth Holloway. … I think it was a terrible thing that this individual, van der Sloot, would prey on the mother of a presumably deceased lady who was just trying to find her daughter. And I think that was a terrible thing to do,” Whisonant said.
The alleged extortion scheme happened between March 29, 2010, and May 17, 2010.
Van der Sloot then traveled to Peru and met Stephany Flores, 21, at a Lima casino owned by her father. Van der Sloot admitted to killing Flores, claiming he murdered her May 30, 2010, in a fit of anger after the 21-year-old found out he was connected to Natalee Holloway’s disappearance.
Van der Sloot killed Flores exactly five years after Natalee Holloway went missing.
He was originally sentenced to 28 years in prison for the killing, but more time was added because of a drug smuggling scandal he was involved in while in jail.
A May 16 order from the Supreme Court of Peru began the process of temporarily transferring van der Sloot from Peruvian to American custody while he faces the federal charges.
Despite efforts by Maximo Altez, a lawyer for van der Sloot, to block the transfer in the days leading up to it, his client will be handed over to the FBI Thursday.
Van der Sloot will then be flown from Lima, Peru, to Birmingham, Alabama, to face charges in the alleged extortion scheme.
In an earlier statement when the Peruvian court announced the transfer of van der Sloot, Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mother, said this gives her family a chance at justice.
“I was blessed to have had Natalee in my life for 18 years, and, as of this month, I have been without her for exactly 18 years. She would be 36 years old now,” Beth Holloway said. “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.”
Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.
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