Peru will allow the extradition to the U.S. of the prime suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of student Natalee Holloway on the Dutch Caribbean Island of Aruba, bringing her family hope there will be justice in the case, the Associated Press reports. Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot will face trial for extortion and wire fraud, charges stemming from the Holloway case. Holloway, who lived in suburban Birmingham, Al., was 18 when she was last seen during a trip with classmates to Aruba. She vanished after a night with friends at a nightclub, leading to years of news coverage and true-crime podcasts. She was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot, then 18. Holloway’s body was never found, and a judge declared her dead.
Van der Sloot was arrested in Peru for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, 21, who was killed five years after Holloway’s disappearance. Prosecutors accused van der Sloot of killing Flores, a business student from a prominent family, to rob her after learning she had won money at the casino where the two met. He pleaded guilty in 2012, and is serving 28 years in prison. His extradition to the U.S. stems from an alleged attempt to profit from his connection to the Holloway case. A grand jury in Alabama in 2010 indicted van der Sloot on wire fraud and extortion charges, accusing him of trying to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Holloways. U.S. prosecutors allege van der Sloot accepted $25,000 in cash from Holloway’s family in exchange for a promise to lead them to her body in early 2010. Peru’s Minister of Justice Daniel Maurate said the government would “accept the request” from U.S. authorities “for the temporary transfer” of van der Sloot.