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Suspect in Natalee Holloway Disappearance Faces Charges In U.S.

The main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway arrived in the U.S. on Thursday. Joran van der Sloot, who was flown in from Peru, faces charges that he attempted to extort money from the missing teen’s mother. An FBI-operated plane carrying van der Sloot landed in Birmingham, Al., hours after Peruvian authorities handed him over temporarily to U.S. custody, reports the Associated Press. Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year sentence in Peru after confessing to killing a Peruvian woman. He is wanted in the U.S. on one count each of extortion and wire fraud, the only charges to have ever linked the Dutch citizen to Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba.

“As a mother who has tirelessly pursued justice for the abduction and murder of my precious daughter, I stand before you today with a heart both heavy with sorrow and yet lifted by a glimmer of hope,” said Beth Holloway, Natalee Holloway’s mom. U.S. prosecutors said that in 2010, van der Sloot reached out to Beth Holloway, seeking $250,000 to disclose the location of Natalee Holloway’s body. A grand jury indicted him that year on one count each of wire fraud and extortion. Natalee Holloway, 18, was on a trip with classmates in Aruba when she vanished in 2005. She was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot. Van der Sloot was identified as a main suspect and detained weeks later for questioning, but no charges were filed.


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