Joran van der Sloot held in Shelby County Jail

Published 10:48 am Saturday, June 10, 2023

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Joran van der Sloot, the chief suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway, is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail after being extradited to the U.S.

Van der Sloot was extradited to the U.S. on June 8 from Peru where he was serving a 28-year prison sentence for the murder of a Peruvian woman. Van der Sloot was booked into the Shelby County Jail on June 9.

Van der Sloot is listed in Shelby County Jail under a Miscellaneous Offense. He has been charged with one count of extortion and one count of wire fraud against Bethany Holloway, Natalee’s mother.

An arraignment was recently held at the Hugo L. Black United States Courthouse on June 9 where Van der Sloot faced his alleged charges of extortion and wire fraud. During the arraignment, van der Sloot’s court-appointed attorney, Kevin Butler, pleaded not guilty on his behalf.

According to Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego, van der Sloot will remain in the jail for 60-90 days as federal proceedings move forward. Samaniego said he believes that when things finish, Van der Sloot will be returned to Peru.

Van der Sloot has long been the chief suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, a Mountain Brook High School graduate who went missing while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005. Natalee was last seen by her friends as she was leaving Carlos’ N Charlies in Oeranjestad. She was seen inside a vehicle with van der Sloot and two acquaintances.

Extensive searches have been made for Natalee, however, she has never been found and her family previously offered up to $1 million for her safe return.

Roughly five years later, van der Sloot allegedly contacted a representative of the Holloway family by email and offered to take the representative to Natalee’s body as well as tell what happened and identify those involved in her death and disappearance. During these emails, van der Sloot allegedly agreed to modify the terms of his offer. For an additional $25,000, he would take the representative to the location of Natalee’s body.

Van der Sloot would then allegedly take the remaining $225,000 after the body was recovered and confirmed.

Once the representative arrived in Aruba, they presented van der Sloot with a signed document by Bethany Holloway. Both the representative and van der Sloot signed two copies of the agreement and take photographs of each other during the signing.

The meeting, in which van der Sloot received $10,000, was recorded while Bethany wired an additional $15,000 to van der Sloot’s Netherlands bank account.

According to a federal affidavit, van der Sloot and the representative drove to a house where van der Sloot said that Natalee’s body would be found in the foundation of the house.

Van der Sloot said he had been with Natalee on May 29, 2010 and that he had thrown her to the ground after she had attempted to stop him from leaving her. He said he hid Natalee’s body and went home to tell his father what had happened.

He told the representative that his father, Paulus, had disposed of Natalee’s body by burying her remains under the foundation. Van der sloot said he had not actually seen his father place the remains but was told and shown where it was buried.

However, after an inspection, it was concluded that the house identified by van der sloot was not under construction at the time of Natalee’s disappearance.

Through a series of emails after the representative left Aruba, van der Sloot admitted to the representative that he lied about the location of the remains.