Dutch murder suspect deported to Peru

4th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

A Dutchman suspected in the murder of a Peruvian woman last week and the disappearance of a US teenager in Aruba five years ago was being deported to Peru Friday after being arrested in Chile, officials said.

Joran van der Sloot, 22, was put under escort onto a plane flying from Santiago to the northern town of Arica. From Arica, he was to be driven to the border and handed over to Peruvian police.

Van der Sloot is the prime suspect in the May 30 stabbing murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez, the 21-year-old daughter of a Peruvian former race car driver.

Her body was found Tuesday, two days after she was killed, in a hotel room in an upmarket area of Peru's capital Lima.

Peruvian police say Van der Sloot was seen entering the hotel with the victim, according to video footage and witnesses.

He left Lima the next day for Chile in a 620-dollar taxi ride to the border, investigators said.

Chilean police alerted by Interpol apprehended him on Thursday after he was spotted in another taxi going from the coastal resort town of Vina del Mar to the capital Santiago.

Van der Sloot was at the center of another criminal inquiry in 2005, when he was named as a key suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old student visiting the Caribbean island of Aruba.

In that case, Van der Sloot was twice arrested, but charges were never brought against him because of lack of evidence. Holloway's body was never found.

Van der Sloot was later 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.

Fernando Ovalle, the police official in charge of the suspect's detention in Chile, said Van der Sloot had given a statement in fluent Spanish "denying all participation in the charges leveled against him" in the Peru murder.

"He only acknowledged that he knew her (Flores)" and stated that "at some point they had gone to a casino and been stopped by police," Ovalle said.

Police said Van der Sloot had undergone a medical examination to note any cuts, and his belongings had been recovered from Vina del Mar as possible evidence.

The father of the slain woman, Peruvian businessman Ricardo Flores Chipoco, said: "I hope the authorities bring him to Peru to be tried not only for the crime against my daughter; there is a pending crime in Aruba and we do not know how many more have gone unpunished."

He told reporters his daughter was killed at dawn last Sunday after meeting Van der Sloot in a casino.

Peru's Interior Minister Octavio Salazar said: "We are probably talking about a serial killer."

He suggested that maybe more crimes might come to light in Colombia, from where Van der Sloot entered Peru on May 14, according to immigration records.

© 2010 AFP

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