Joran Van Der Sloot, the lead suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, will be extradited by Peru to be prosecuted in the U.S. Peru “decided to agree to the request for temporary surrender … [of van der Sloot] … for his prosecution in the United States for the alleged commission of the crimes of extortion and fraud” against Holloway’s mother, Justice and Human Rights Minister Daniel Maurate Romero said Wednesday in a statement.
Van der Sloot will be returned to Peru after legal proceedings against him conclude in the U.S., Peru’s judiciary said. Natalee Holloway’s body was never found, but she was declared legally dead in 2014.
Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway, announced the news in a statement.
“Almost exactly eighteen years later, her perpetrator, Joran van der Sloot, has been extradited to Birmingham to answer for his crimes,” she said.
Van der Sloot is serving a 28-year prison sentence for the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian Stephany Flores in 2010.
Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Peru’s ambassador to the U.S., said he hopes “this action will enable a process that will help to bring peace to Mrs. Holloway and to her family, who are grieving in the same way that the Flores family in Peru is grieving for the loss of their daughter.” However, the prosecution against Van Der Sloot will not be for the murder of Natalee Holloway.
In Aruba, on May 30, 2005, the 18-year-old was last seen leaving a bar early that morning with the young Dutchman. Her body was never found and the ensuing searches for her would result in unprecedented attention from the media.
Van der Sloot was arrested at one point in connection with Holloway’s disappearance but was later released for lack of evidence.
Authorities have not announced what type of charges Van der Sloot could face.
In her statement, Beth Holloway noted that her daughter would be 36-years-old today.
It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off,” she said. “Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee.”