Dutch citizen sought in stabbing death of Peru woman

2nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Police said Wednesday they were seeking a Dutchman, who five years ago was linked to a US teenager's disappearance in Aruba, after a Peruvian woman was found stabbed to death in a Lima hotel.

Officials identified the man as Joran van der Sloot, 22, who was also a key suspect in the highly publicized 2005 disappearance of teenager Natalee Holloway on the Caribbean island of Aruba.

In the Aruba case van der Sloot was released without charge.

General Cesar Guardia Vasquez, the Peruvian police director of criminal investigation, told a press conference the Dutchman, who is believed to have left Peru for Chile, is the prime suspect in the latest crime.

"We have footage and witness statements that (van der Sloot) was entering the hotel with the victim" just before her death, the official said.

Van der Sloot entered Peru on May 14 from Colombia and left the country Monday at the border crossing with Chile, according to Peruvian immigration officials.

The body of the Stephany Ramirez Flores, 21, was found Tuesday in a hotel in Lima's Miraflores district, police said.

Ricardo Flores, father of the victim and a leading businessman in Peru, told reporters his daughter was killed at dawn on Sunday after meeting van der Sloot in a casino.

Van der Sloot was held but never charged in Aruba in the case of Holloway, an 18-year-old American student who had traveled to the Dutch-ruled Caribbean island where she disappeared. Her body was never found.

He was arrested again in 2007 by Dutch authorities, but was released for lack of evidence.

He was videotaped saying Holloway died after suffering a seizure and that an acquaintance helped him dump the body into the sea.

Subsequently, van der Sloot denied that and said he had made the comments under the influence of marijuana.

© 2010 AFP

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