Suspect in Natalee Holloway’s 2005 disappearance to be extradited from Peru to U.S.

Joran van der Sloot in court
Joran van der Sloot in court in Lima, Peru, during his trial for murder in a separate case in 2012. The Peruvian government said on Monday that Van der Sloot, the main suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway, will be extradited this week to the United States.
(Karel Navarro / Associated Press)

The Peruvian government on Monday said the main suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway will be extradited this week to the United States.

The head of the Peru’s prison system, Javier Llaque, told The Associated Press that custody of Joran van der Sloot will be handed over to Interpol “first thing in the morning” Thursday, after which the Dutchman will be taken to an airport in the capital, Lima, to board an airplane to the U.S.

Van der Sloot arrived Saturday at a corrections facility in Lima under strict security measures from a prison in the Andes, where he was serving a 28-year sentence for the murder of a Peruvian woman.


Defense attorney Máximo Altéz last month said his client explained in a letter he did not plan to challenge the extradition.

The prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway on the island of Aruba faces extradition from Peru to the U.S.

May 11, 2023

The government of Peru announced May 10 that it would temporarily transfer custody of Van der Sloot to authorities in the U.S. to face trial on extortion and wire fraud charges.

Holloway, who lived in suburban Birmingham, Ala., was 18 when she took a trip with classmates to the Caribbean island of Aruba. She was last seen leaving a bar with Van der Sloot, who was a student at an international school on the island.

Van der Sloot was identified as a suspect and detained weeks later, along with two Surinamese brothers. Holloway’s body was never found, and no charges were filed in the case. A judge later declared Holloway dead.

The federal charges filed in Alabama against Van der Sloot stem from an accusation that he tried to extort the Holloway family in 2010, promising to lead them to her body in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars. A grand jury indicted him that year on one count each of wire fraud and extortion.

Prosecutors in Aruba closed their investigation of the disappearance of American teenager Natalee Holloway, saying they still believe that three young men were involved in her death but can’t prove it.

Dec. 19, 2007

Also in 2010, Van der Sloot was arrested in Peru in the slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a business student from a prominent family who was killed five years to the day after Holloway’s disappearance. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty in Flores’ case in 2012.


A 2001 treaty between Peru and the U.S. allows a suspect to be temporarily extradited to face trial in the other country. The time that Van der Sloot ends up spending in the U.S. “will be extended until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings,” including the appeal process should there be one, according to a resolution published in the South American country’s federal register. The resolution also states that U.S. authorities agreed to return the suspect to the custody of Peru afterward.

The young woman’s mother, Beth Holloway, in a statement released after Peruvian authorities agreed to the extradition last month said the family is “finally getting justice for Natalee.”

“It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off,” Beth Holloway said.