Timeline of events leading up to the extradition of Joran van der Sloot to the US

Van der Sloot will face extortion & fraud charges against Beth Holloway - mother of Natalee, who went missing in Aruba in 2005
Van Der Sloot extradition
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 5:30 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 5:37 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With Joran van der Sloot awaiting extradition to the United States to face extortion charges, the world’s attention returns to 2005 when Mountain Brook High School graduate Natalee Holloway went missing in Aruba.

It started nearly 20 years ago with a phone call to the WBRC newsroom. A friend of Natalee Holloway’s mom was on the line. She called to say that the 18-year-old Mountain Brook girl was missing. The caller was worried because Holloway didn’t return home.

Former WBRC FOX6 News reporter Tiffany Bittner recalled the conversation.

“They couldn’t find her. So, they were trying to gain momentum with the story because they were kind of like, ‘how do you do this? How do we go search for our child outside of the country?’” Bittner said.

Bittner said at that point she never imagined it would become a story the world would soon be watching.

“I just remember thinking, how horrific as a mother to go through trying to find your teen daughter,” she said. “You graduate high school. It’s a wonderful, happy time. Your kid goes on a trip. Thousands of kids do it every year after graduation, they go somewhere on a trip, but you never expect your child not to come home.”

The trip was a celebration for seniors who had graduated from Mountain Brook High School in May 2005. On May 29, some friends went to a nightclub and met 17-year-old Joran van der Sloot. He and Holloway were seen leaving the bar together along with two brothers - Satish and Depak Kalpoe. That was the last time friends saw Natalee alive. Joran van der Sloot told investigators he was with Natalee that night, but claims he left her alone on the beach. The following morning, when the Mountain Brook group met in the lobby to prepare to head home, Natalee was not there.

Her family flew to Aruba to lead the search for her, while friends, neighbors, and thousands of supporters across the Birmingham area pinned yellow ribbons to trees and mailboxes. The ribbons were a sign of support for the Holloway family.

On June 9, 2005, investigators arrested van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers, but on September 3, a judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to hold the three men and they were released. At the time, van der Sloot’s attorney said his client was going back to the Netherlands to lead a normal college student life.

The Kalpoe brothers and van der Sloot were re-arrested in November 2007 on suspicion of involvement in Natalee’s death, but were released again less than a month later when a judge found there wasn’t enough evidence to hold them before trial under Aruban law.

Fast forward to May 2010 when federal prosecutors say the scheme that will ultimately bring van der Sloot in front of an American jury unfolds. Prosecutors say van der Sloot offered to tell Beth Holloway, Natalee’s mom, where her daughter’s body was located and how she died in exchange for money.

According to the FBI, van der Sloot asked Beth Holloway for $25,000 up front and another $250,000 after her remains were recovered. In a sting operation, he gave them the location of a house where he said she was buried in the foundation, but later admitted to lying about the location. He was indicted by an Alabama grand jury in 2010 on the charges he will now face in a Birmingham courtroom.

Then on May 30, 2010, van der Sloot shot and killed 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a business student from Peru. She was killed in van der Sloot’s hotel room in Lima, Peru after investigators say she found something related to the Holloway case on his computer. Just four days later, van der Sloot was arrested in Chile and sent back to Peru to face murder charges. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty in 2012 to killing Flores and said he is “really sorry for what happened.”

In January 2012, Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King signed the order officially declaring Natalee dead, allowing the Holloway family to handle her financial affairs. That was just one day before a Peruvian court sentenced van der Sloot to 28 years in prison.

On May 10, 2023, Peru agreed to extradite van der Sloot to the U.S. to face these federal charges on the condition he be returned to Peru to finish out his sentence there after any trial concludes here.

The superior court in Lima, Peru ordered Joran van der Sloot to be handed over to FBI agents on Thursday, June 8, 2023, according to a statement published on social media Tuesday, June 6.

“With this resolution, the Judge has completed procedures for the transfer (passive extradition) of Joran van der Sloot, who will be prosecuted in the United States of America for the alleged crimes of extortion and fraud against Elizabeth Ann Holloway,” the statement concludes.

Van der Sloot was recently injured in a prison brawl, according to his attorney. However, whatever injuries he sustained are unlikely to delay his extradition, which is scheduled for Thursday.

To date, Natalee Holloway’s body has not been found and no one is currently charged in her death.

Natalee Holloway and her mother, Beth Holloway
Natalee Holloway and her mother, Beth Holloway
Kidnapped poster in Aruba
Kidnapped poster in Aruba(WBRC)
A prayer wall for Natalee Holloway
A prayer wall for Natalee Holloway(WBRC)
Search for Natalee Holloway in Aruba
Search for Natalee Holloway in Aruba(WBRC)
A yellow ribbon on a mailbox in support of Natalee and her family
A yellow ribbon on a mailbox in support of Natalee and her family(WBRC)

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