Joran van der Sloot, 22, the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba is now wanted by Peruvian cops for allegedly murdering a 21-year-old woman.
Authorities believe van der Sloot brutally stabbed Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramirez, the daughter of a former Peruvian presidential candidate in his Lima, Peru hotel room before hiding her corpse in a blanket and checking out of the hotel on Sunday. Flores’ body was only discovered yesterday. The room was registered under Joran’s name.
Joran was visiting Peru for a poker tournament and appears with Flores in a video taken at a Lima casino early Sunday. The two were later seen entering the hotel by one of its employees about 5 a.m. and Joran departed alone about four hours later.
Van der Sloot got a head start on the police. He fled Peru on a bus Monday and Chilean authorities confirmed that he entered their country later that day. Chilean Police Inspector Douglas Rodriguez in Arica told The Associated Press there was no record of van der Sloot leaving Chile and authorities were searching for him.
An arrest warrant for van der Sloot has been issued by Interpol, the international police agency.
“This is my daughter’s assassin,” said Flores’ father, Ricardo Flores, a prominent circus operator, politician and former race-car driver, according to CBS News.
Joran’s New York lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, has not spoken with his client but he warned people not to jump to conclusions.
“Joran has a bull’s-eye on his back, and any time there is any foul play that could be connected to Joran, he’s an automatic suspect,” Tacopina said in a statement. “It doesn’t mean he killed her.”
Van der Sloot was the last person to see Natalee Holloway alive 5 years ago when the 18-year old blond high schooler went missing in Aruba during a senior class trip with more than 100 of her classmates.
He was never charged in Natalee’s disappearance, despite being twice arrested and detained by Aruban authorities. Joran was a Dutch National and his father was a prominent judge on the Dutch Caribbean island.
No trace of Natalee has been found and van der Sloot remains the main suspect in the case. The body of Stephany was coincidentally found 5 years exactly to the day of Natalee’s disappearance.
Following the disappearance, Natalee’s mom Beth Twitty launched an international campaign to search for her daughter and bring her killer to justice.
Two years ago, a Dutch television reporter captured hidden-camera footage of van der Sloot saying he was with Holloway when she collapsed on a beach from being drunk. He said he believed that she was dead and asked a friend to dump her body in the ocean.
We expect this international manhunt will also become a huge case and can only hope that justice is served before any more young women become victims.