Joran van der Sloot, a Dutch man once investigated in the case of missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, is expected to be extradited to the United States in connection with a fraud case.
It’s been almost 18 years since the 18-year-old from Mountain Brook vanished in Aruba where she had been vacationing with her high school friends.
Her mother, Beth Holloway, thanked U.S. and Peruvian authorities for delivering van der Sloot, 35, to American soil where, she said, he will “answer for his crimes.”
“I was blessed to have had Natalee in my life for 18 years, and as of this month, I have been without her for exactly 18 years. She would be 36 years old now,” she said in a statement Wednesday.
“It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off. Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee.”
Here are some key dates in the ongoing investigation that is yet to turn up Holloway’s whereabouts and body.
May 26, 2005
Holloway and dozens of her 12th grade classmates from Mountain Brook High School arrived in Aruba to celebrate their recent graduation.
The travel party consisted of 124 students and seven chaperones who had planned to spend five days in the Dutch Caribbean island.
May 29, 2005
Holloway and others in her traveling party went to Carlos ‘N Charlie’s nightclub. The legal drinking age in Aruba is 18.
Beth Holloway recalled that her stepson visited that same club during a graduation celebration trip in 2003 and had a bad feeling about the scene.
“There were some locals there. And they had coaxed some young females into leaving the establishment with them … and he stepped in at the last minute because just didn’t feel good about the situation, you know, with them,” she told “Dateline” in a 2008 interview.
May 30, 2005
After the club closed at 1 a.m., some members of the group went back to the Holiday Inn. Holloway was last seen getting into a gray or silver Honda with three young males, the 17-year-old van der Sloot, and Surinamese brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, local police have said.
Deepak was 21 at the time and Satish 17.
“Holloway did not return to her hotel room, and her personal belongings remained in her room. On the morning of May 30, 2005, when the Mountain Brook group was scheduled to meet in the lobby of the hotel in preparation for their departure from Aruba, Holloway never joined them,” an FBI flyer said. “The Mountain Brook group returned to the United States, however Holloway’s whereabouts remain unknown.”
June 9, 2005
Van der Sloot and the Kalpoe brothers were arrested in connection with Holloway’s disappearance, but the men would eventually be released and not prosecuted.
“The hearts of the people of Aruba are touched by Natalee and her family,” Aruba’s then-Prime Minister Nelson Oduber said that day. “Resolving this is Aruba’s No. 1 goal.”
Beth Holloway has long claimed that the three know what happened to her daughter
“All three of those boys know what happened to her,” she told The Associated Press at the time. “They all know what they did with her that night.”
Sept. 3, 2005
A judge ruled there was not enough evidence to hold all three men in the Holloway case, leading to their release.
At the time, van der Sloot’s attorney, Richie Kock, said his client would go back to Holland and lead the normal life of a college student.
“Joran will be trusted to be on his own in Holland and to do as he pleases,” he said.
Jan. 11, 2008
Van der Sloot’s temper got the best of him, throwing a glass of wine at a journalist as they appeared on a television talk show in the Netherlands.
Throughout the show, crime reporter Peter R. de Vries challenged van der Sloot’s honesty as they discussed the Holloway case.
As the show ended and guests shook hands, van der Sloot grabbed a glass of wine and doused De Vries in the face.
Jan. 11, 2012
Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to the killing of business student Stephany Flores, 21, in his Lima hotel room on May 30, 2010.
He reportedly attacked Flores after she looked at his laptop computer and found he was connected to Holloway’s disappearance.
“I did not want to do it,” van der Sloot told La República, a Peruvian newspaper based in Lima.
“The girl intruded into my private life … she didn’t have any right. I went to her and I hit her. She was scared, we argued and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck and hit her.”
Jan. 12, 2012
An Alabama probate court declared Holloway dead, 6½ years after she went missing.
Probate Judge Alan King signed the order as a procedural matter so the family could get a death certificate and tend to Holloway’s financial affairs.
Jan. 13, 2012
A Peruvian court sentenced van der Sloot to 28 years in prison for Flores’ slaying.
With time served, a 28-year sentence would have, in theory, kept van der Sloot behind bars until 2038. But he was eligible for parole after doing half his sentenced time, in addition to other good behavior credits.
Even at the time of the Peruvian court action, Holloway’s family wanted him to be eventually extradited to the U.S. in connection with her disappearance.
Peruvian officials disclosed that van der Sloot would be extradited to the U.S., though State Department officials declined to confirm or comment on the reported action.
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