Van der Sloot Pleads Not Guilty in Holloway Case

Suspect in killing of Alabama teen, extradited from Peru to US, faces extortion, wire fraud charges
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2023 2:36 PM CDT
Updated Jun 9, 2023 12:18 PM CDT
Natalee Holloway's Alleged Killer Is in the US
Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot, center, is driven in a police vehicle from the Ancon I maximum-security prison, outskirts of Lima, Peru, early Thursday, June 8, 2023.   (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
UPDATE Jun 9, 2023 12:18 PM CDT

A plea of "not guilty" was entered Friday in a US federal court in Alabama on behalf of Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch man accused of killing 18-year-old Natalee Holloway in Aruba in 2005. Per CNN, van der Sloot, extradited Thursday from Peru to the US, is facing charges of extortion and wire fraud after allegedly trying to sell info on where Holloway's remains might be to Beth Holloway, Natalee's mom, in 2010. During the hearing, US Magistrate Judge Gray Borden said he'd only accept a not guilty plea, and that if van der Sloot wanted to plead guilty, he'd have to do so another time in front of a different judge. Fox News reports that Beth Holloway sat in one of the front three rows of the courtroom during Friday's proceedings, and "appeared to keep her eyes on van der Sloot almost the entire time." Her attorney has said she's "ecstatic" van der Sloot is now in the US, per CNN.

Jun 8, 2023 2:36 PM CDT

The family of Natalee Holloway may finally get some measure of justice against the main suspect in her 2005 disappearance. Joran van der Sloot landed in Alabama on Thursday after being extradited from Peru, reports CNN. The 35-year-old, however, is not being charged with harming Holloway but with wire fraud and extortion for demanding $250,000 from Holloway's mother in exchange for the location of her daughter's remains, per the New York Times. Prosecutors say he received $25,000 of that money, at which point a 2010 search of the location he provided yielded no remains.

Authorities declared Holloway dead in 2012, seven years after the 18-year-old from Birmingham disappeared while on a school trip to Aruba. Van der Sloot is serving a life sentence in Peru for the murder of 21-year-old Peruvian student Stephany Flores, who was killed five years to the day of Holloway's disappearance, per People. Van der Sloot has not been charged with Holloway's death or disappearance, and he has never confessed to killing her. In 2008, a journalist recording him talking about her in a sting operation, and the suspect asserted that nobody would ever find her body. "Never to be found," he said, per the Times. (More Joran Van der Sloot stories.)

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