Now twenty-three-year-old Joran Van der Sloot, the former prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance and assumed murder of then 18-year-old American Natalee Holloway in Aruba, is now the prime suspect in the brutal beating and stabbing death of 21-year-old Peruvian Stephany Tatiana Flores-Ramirez. Flores-Ramirez is believed to have been killed on May 31, five years to the day since the disappearance of Holloway. An international arrest warrant has been issues for Van der Sloot and authorities from a number of countries as well as Interpol are looking for him. Meanwhile Van der Sloot, who is from Holland, may be attempting to flee South America to a Dutch territory where he could believe he would have the means to fight extradition back to Peru.
Van der Sloot has been caught and released multiple times for his believed involvement in Holloway’s disappearance. He has told multiple stories concerning Holloway’s last moments, different stories with but one thing in common; Van der Sloot was always there. I have always believed that Holloway was given a date rape drug such as GHB, that she was taken from an Aruban bar by Van der Sloot and his friends, the two Kalpoe brothers, and that she was eventually assaulted and murdered, with her body disposed of at sea. Van der Sloot’s own words have placed him with her when she died, but Aruban authorities have found him to be such a liar that even his various confessions have not been enough, in and of themselves, to allow him to be prosecuted for Holloway’s murder.
Fast forward five years to the date and change the site from a casino, bar or hotel in Aruba to similar locations in Peru. Van der Sloot, who was in Lima for a gambling tournament, allegedly met Flores-Ramirez in a local casino where he was seen with her at 2 AM this past Sunday. Shortly after 5 AM he and Flores were in her car together for about 40 minutes, after which they went to a hotel room believed to have been rented in Van der Sloot’s own name. The investigation into Flores-Ramirez' murder suggests that Van der Sloot left the hotel room at about 9 AM the same date. Flores was not seen leaving the room and her bloodied body, wrapped in a blanket, was later found in the hotel room that contained graphic evidence of the brutal assault and murder of Flores-Ramirez.
The victim’s car was located some 50 blocks from the murder scene, suggesting that her killer likely moved the car, perhaps in his attempt to flee the area. In the victim’s car investigators allegedly found date rape drugs comparable to GHB. These same investigators are currently investigating the possibility that Van der Sloot caught a bus in Lima that quickly crossed into Chile. If this is so, the international alerts in his name would likely prevent him from flying on a commercial airliner or otherwise using his true identity and credit cards in his believed flight from justice. He could still slip into Argentina and, perhaps, should he have cash money with him, find a way to somehow get out of South America.
The comparison between the disappearance of Holloway and the murder of Flores-Ramirez ends almost as soon as it begins though. In the current case the authorities have a body, a crime scene and potentially linking physical evidence not only placing the suspect with his victim, but also implicating him in her murder. Flores-Ramirez’ father has said that his daughter had Van der Sloot’s skin under her fingernails, suggesting, perhaps, that she tried in vain to fight off her attacker. One must wonder how the Peruvian authorities could so quickly identify Flores-Ramirez’ attackers’ DNA, but that will be one of many questions to be answered as this investigation progresses.
Many saw Joran Van der Sloot as an angry, rageful young man with an exaggerated sense of personal entitlement who sought and demanded immediate self gratification, traits that could easily lead to murder. Stephany Flores-Ramirez was a Peruvian national, someone from a well-known family, (her father once ran for president), who was murdered in her own country, perhaps by Van der Sloot, a foreign national. If he is responsible for Flores-Ramirez’ death, he will absolutely not enjoy the courtesies afforded him by the Aruban criminal justice system, one where his now deceased father held great influence. No; he is now a murder suspect who will be hunted down, arrested, and thrown in some terrible Peruvian jail that will make any cell he occupied in Aruba look like a luxury hotel room.
Should Van der Sloot have murdered Flores-Ramirez, it would appear to be an unplanned, spur of the violent moment assault; one, perhaps, where he was told “no” and refused to accept this from Flores-Ramirez. Whoever murdered Flores-Ramirez appears to have emotionally exploded all over her, beating her, stabbing her, and leaving her lifeless body to be found after her killer had fled the hotel and, perhaps, the country itself. Van der Sloot will quickly find himself to be a man without a country, someone with nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide.
I doubt seriously that he will remain in a fugitive status for long, and this time, perhaps, he, like O.J. Simpson before him, will have escaped responsibility for one or more brutal crimes, only to be caught after committing yet another stupid crime. And perhaps, just perhaps we may finally learn the fate of Natalee Holloway when the killer of Flores-Ramirez gets his turn to stand before the bar of justice.
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