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Murder suspect sent to Peru


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Murder suspect sent to Peru

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LIMA, Peru – Chilean police flew a young  Dutch murder suspect  to Peru yesterday  to face charges in the slaying of a 21-year-old woman in his hotel room.Joran van der Sloot  said he was innocent but acknowledged having met Stephany Flores at  a Lima casino, said deputy Chilean investigative police spokesman Fernando Ovalle.Van der Sloot was to be handed over to Peruvian police at the border of the two countries yesterday afternoon. He also remained the prime suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway  on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba. Flores was killed five years to the day after Holloway disappeared.  On Thursday, prosecutors in the United States charged van der Sloot with extortion in connection with the Holloway case.Wearing the same  black-hooded sweat shirt and khaki pants in which he was arrested the day before, van der Sloot was handcuffed and placed aboard a police  Cessna 310 in the Chilean capital, Santiago, yesterday morning. A fixture on television crime shows after Holloway’s disappearance in Aruba, the 22-year-old did not speak to or look  at reporters who called to him yesterday as he was escorted onto the plane.Van der Sloot, who was seen on video with Flores prior to her death, fled Peru on Monday, but was captured three days later by Chilean police as he was headed in a taxi from Santiago to the Pacific coastal city of Vina del Mar. Police said he had rented a room there.Flores was found dead late Tuesday in the  Lima hotel room where van der Sloot had been staying before he left the country. She had a broken neck. She was fully clothed, with multiple bruises and scratches on her body, but there were no signs she had been sexually assaulted, the chief of Peru’s criminal police, General Cesar Guardia, told The Associated Press.“The room was a complete mess,” he said  in an interview. He added that no potential murder weapon was found.Peruvian police say they have video of van der Sloot and Flores together in the casino and witnesses who saw the two enter the Dutchman’s hotel room.“This isn’t a coincidence, this murder,” Flores’ father, Lima entertainment impresario Ricardo Flores, told reporters after van der Sloot’s arrest on Thursday.Flores, a 48-year-old former race car driver and sometime politician, buried his daughter on Thursday in the upscale Jardines de la Paz cemetery accompanied  by about 100 mourners. He called on authorities  to immediately bring  van der Sloot to Peru  to face justice.“It’s not just about my daughter,” he said. “There’s a matter pending in Aruba, and we don’t know how many more remain unpunished.”Also Thursday,  van der Sloot was charged in Alabama with trying  to extort US$250 000 (BDS$500 000) in return for revealing the location of Holloway’s body  and describing the circumstances  of her death.Federal prosecutors did not say who was allegedly extorted, but filed a sworn statement saying that van der Sloot received a partial payment of US$15 000 (BDS$30 000) wired to  a Netherlands bank. (AP)

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