Timeline of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance as prime suspect faces extradition

The prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway is now facing extradition to face criminal charges in the United States

Via AP news wire
Thursday 11 May 2023 18:33 BST

The prime suspect in the disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway, who was last seen on a Dutch Caribbean island, is facing extradition from Peru to face criminal charges in the United States - almost 20 years after Holloway went missing.

Dutchman Joran van der Sloot, who is currently imprisoned for the murder of a Peruvian student, will be prosecuted for alleged extortion and wire fraud charges involving promises to lead Holloway's family to her body, which was never found.

The 18-year-old American student was on a high-school graduation trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba when she disappeared.

Despite her remains never being recovered, she was declared dead by a US judge in 2012.

“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,” her mother Beth Holloway said, according to the Daily Mail.

The Peruvian government issued an executive order on Wednesday, allowing the temporary extradition of Van der Sloot, who has never been charged in connection with Holloway’s disappearance.

A 2001 treaty between Peru and the U.S. allows a suspect to be temporarily extradited to face trial in the other country. It requires that the prisoner “be returned” after judicial proceedings have concluded.

Timeline of Natalee Holloway’s disappearance:

MAY 2005

Holloway, from Mountain Brook, Alabama, a wealthy Birmingham suburb, vanished while on a high school graduation trip to Dutch-owned Aruba.

According to an FBI posting about Holloway, she had “travelled with Mountain Brook, Alabama High School seniors and chaperones to Aruba on May 26, 2005.

“Reportedly, on the evening of May 29, 2005, Holloway and a large group of students went to Carlos ‘N Charlie’s Nightclub in Oranjestad, Aruba. When Carlos ‘N Charlie’s was closing around 1:00 a.m., some of the group headed back to the Holiday Inn where they were staying, and others in the group gathered at various area bars.

“Holloway was last seen around 1:30 a.m. leaving the area in a silver Honda with three young males, Joran van der Sloot, Deepak Kalpoe, and Satish Kalpoe.

“Holloway did not return to her hotel room, and her personal belongings remained in her room. On the morning of May 30, 2005, when the Mountain Brook group was scheduled to meet in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for their departure from Aruba, Holloway never joined them. The Mountain Brook group returned to the United States, however Holloway’s whereabouts remain unknown.”

Her disappearance made international headlines and sparked a furore in the US. The teenager’s parents went to the island to pass out fliers and monitor searches, also appearing on national television shows to maintain pressure on investigators.

Classmates said they had seen Holloway outside a nightclub in a car with van der Sloot, then 17 years old, and two other local residents — Surinamese brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe.

They claimed to have dropped her off at her hotel.

All three were repeatedly detained but freed over a lack of evidence of a crime. The Kalpoes, who were security guards at a hotel near the one where Holloway was staying, were taken into custody in June and held for nearly a month.

Van der Sloot was held for an additional 60 days.

APRIL 2007

Van der Sloot and a journalist published a book in Dutch about the case in which he denied killing Holloway, commenting: “I hope every day that Natalee will be found.”

MAY 2010

Five years to the day that Holloway vanished, Stephany Flores was killed. The 21-year-old business student had met van der Sloot at a Lima casino.

Van der Sloot fled to Chile, but was arrested four days later and taken back to Peru, where he confessed to killing Flores. He later tried to retract the confession.

Van der Sloot told police he flew into a rage when Flores discovered his connection to Holloway while they were playing online poker in his hotel room. Prosecutors accused him of killing Flores to rob her after learning she had won money at the casino.

The day he was arrested, van der Sloot was indicted in Alabama. Prosecutors accused him of accepting $25,000 in return for a promise to lead a lawyer for Holloway’s mother to her daughter’s remains. He never delivered on the offer.


Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to killing Flores, telling a judge: “I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad.”

His lawyer argued that the killing was triggered by trauma from being the prime suspect in Holloway’s disappearance.

That same week, a judge in Alabama declared Holloway legally dead. A day later, van der Sloot was sentenced to 28 years in prison by a three-member panel of judges in Peru for killing Flores.

In January 2023, he was given an additional 18 years in prison for trafficking cocaine while behind bars.

The original sentencing document said van der Sloot was guilty of “first-degree murder with aggravating factors of ferocity and great cruelty” and detailed how he elbowed Flores in the face, beat her repeatedly, then strangled her with his bloodied shirt.

He also was ordered to pay $75,000 in reparations to the victim’s family.

Meanwhile, prison authorities said that van der Sloot was transferred from a Lima prison to a high-security Piedras Gordas lockup in response to reports that he had enjoyed privileges such as television, internet access and a cell phone. Piedras Gordas holds local crime bosses and terrorism convicts, including guerillas from Peruvian terror origanisation Shining Path.

JULY 2014

Van der Sloot married his pregnant Peruvian girlfriend, Leidy Figueroa, 24, in a private ceremony at the prison, having met her while she was selling goods inside the prison, according to his attorney.


Van der Sloot was sent to a prison high in the Andes, after authorities said he had threatened to kill the warden of the Piedras Gordas lockup near Lima, where he was being held.


Van der Sloot became a father. His attorney said his daughter was born in Lima, but far from the remote prison where van der Sloot is serving his prison sentence. The child was named Dushy, after van der Sloot’s grandmother.

MAY 2023

Peru's government decided to allow van der Sloot's temporary extradition to the US to face charges there. Under a 2001 treaty between the countries, a suspect can be temporarily extradited to face trial in the other country, but must “be returned” after judicial proceedings are concluded.

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