BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A man who has long been suspected in the disappearance of Mountain Brook native Natalee Holloway is expected to be sent to Birmingham in the coming days on charges of allegedly scamming her family into paying him to reveal where she was, CBS News reports.
Joran van der Sloot, who is serving a nearly 30-year sentence in a murder case, is scheduled to be given to U.S. authorities in Peru Thursday and be sent to Alabama to face fraud and extortion charges from over a decade ago. The news of van der Sloot’s extradition was confirmed by a Peru prison spokesperson to CBS News.
Holloway, who graduated from Mountain Brook High School back in 2005, disappeared during a senior trip to Aruba shortly after graduation. Over the years, van der Sloot was always considered a prime suspect in the case, but he was never charged in her disappearance. Holloway has never been found and her family has since declared her legally dead.
In May 2010, van der Sloot was indicted on fraud and extortion charges in Alabama. Prosecutors accused him of allegedly accepting $25,000 from Holloway’s family to lead them to her remains. However, van der Sloot never delivered on that agreement.
“I was blessed to have had Natalee in my life for 18 years, and as of last month, I have been without her for exactly 18 years. She would be 36 years old now. It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is paying off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee,” said Holloway’s mother, Beth, in a statement to CBS 42.
Van der Sloot is charged with killing Stephany Flores, who died on the fifth anniversary of Holloway’s disappearance.