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Joran van der Sloot is reportedly headed back to Peru after his extradition to the South American country was temporarily halted Monday due to aircraft mechanical issues following his confession earlier this month in the 2005 murder of Natalee Holloway.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison on October 18 in an Alabama court as part of a plea deal on charges of extortion and wire fraud in the aftermath of Holloway’s death. Van der Sloot, who was originally indicted in 2010, was accused of extorting Holloway’s mother for $250,000 in exchange for information related to the location of Holloway’s body. He's set to serve that sentence concurrently with his 28-year sentence in Peru for the 2010 murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores in Lima.
Why was Joran van der Sloot's extradition back to Peru delayed?
“The extradition of Joran van der Sloot to Peru is delayed because of mechanical issues with the aircraft,” the U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement on Monday, Fox News reported. “The U,S. Marshals Service will coordinate with the Peruvian Officials to reschedule the extradition."
Van der Sloot confessed to Holloway’s death in court on October 18, ending years of speculation as to whether the 36-year-old Dutchman was involved in the teen’s disappearance. Prior to arriving in Alabama, he’d fiercely fought his extradition to the U.S.
Holloway vanished in 2005 at age 18 while traveling with classmates in Aruba. She was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot. Her body has never been recovered.
Photo: Getty Images
Van der Sloot was questioned by police but was never charged in the case, largely due to a lack of evidence at the time.
In shocking audio of Van der Sloot’s bombshell confession, later released by officials, the Dutch national admitted to kicking Holloway in the head, rendering her unconscious after she rejected his sexual advances. He claimed to have later used a nearby cinder block to crush her skull.
“I smash her head in with it completely,” van der Sloot said, according to a transcript of his courtroom confession.
He added: “Her face basically, you know, collapses in. Even though it’s dark, I can see her face is collapsed in.”
Van der Sloot claimed to have later dumped Holloway’s body in the ocean.
Holloway’s family has since expressed relief that van der Sloot “finally confessed.”
“Joran van der Sloot is no longer the suspect in my daughter’s murder,” Beth said following van der Sloot’s court confession. “He is a killer.”
Dave Holloway, Holloway’s father, meanwhile, said van der Sloot is “evil personified.” While van der Sloot’s confession has brought a small degree of closure, the grieving parent said he still questions whether his daughter’s killer acted alone.
“While I am satisfied that the defendant murdered Natalee alone, I have no doubt others provided him with aid and assistance in preventing us from being able to return Natalee home,” Dave said, according to the Associated Press.
Van der Sloot cannot be prosecuted for Holloway’s murder since the statute of limitations for murder on the Caribbean Island is 12 years.
Aruba authorities request files related to Joran van der Sloot’s confession
The U.S. doesn’t have jurisdictional authority to prosecute van der Sloot. Aruba authorities, however, have requested files regarding Holloway’s case and van der Sloot’s confession, per the Associated Press report.
“We have requested the U.S. Department of Justice for the court documents, transcripts and all the documents related to the investigation,” said Ann Angela, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office in Aruba.
Prosecutors intend to “review and analyze them before deciding on the procedural steps to be taken against Joran van der Sloot,” the spokesperson added.
“The disappearance of Natalee Holloway is still an open investigation in Aruba,” Angela added.