Joran Van Der Sloot: Where is the Killer Now?

When Natalee Holloway went missing from Aruba in May 2005, authorities were determined to bring her back home safely. However, years passed with no news of Natalee, and while her disappearance was linked to Joran Van Der Sloot through security cameras and eye-witnesses, he was never arrested for the same. Prime Video’s ‘The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway’ and Peacock’s ‘Pathological: The Lies of Joran Van Der Sloot’ chronicles the strange incident and shows how Joran was soon linked to a subsequent murder, which got the police hot on his trail.

Who Is Joran Van Der Sloot?

A native of the city of Arnhem in The Netherlands, Joran had a normal childhood and was even brilliant in studies as the International School of Aruba accepted him as an honors student. Besides, Joran was also pretty interested in sports and often competed in tennis tournaments alongside his father. He showed signs of aggression ever since his childhood and it is alleged that he even bullied one of his brothers and harmed animals when he was young. His parents moved him to a guest house outside their property and soon Joran found an easy way to sneak out. He started gambling and leaned heavily into the nightlife of Aruba.

On the night of May 30, 2005, Natalee Holloway was partying with her friends in Aruba. She was a high school student who had come there on a school trip. Although she had a plane to catch the following morning, the group of friends went barhopping and even visited a local nightclub. Investigators believe the group ran into Joran Van Der Sloot at the nightclub, and it did not take long for Natalee to engage the Dutchman in conversation. While her friends did not think much of it at that moment, they grew increasingly worried when she did not return in the night and even the following morning. Hence, with nowhere else to go, Natalee’s friends called her family turned to the authorities, and asked for their help.

The police did not take long to jump into the investigation, and they left no stone unturned in their search. Her mother appealed to the media and the local authorities and her father even took help from a private investigator. Incidentally, eye-witnesses who had seen Natalee minutes before she went missing, as well as CCTV camera footage, confirmed that the high school graduate was last seen in the company of Joran Van Der Sloot. Natalee’s mother Beth repeatedly pointed fingers at Joran but there was no evidence to back up the allegation. He was taken into custody along with Deepak and Satish Kalpoe but they were soon released. Joran’s father, Paulus van der Sloot was also taken into custody for questioning but the case headed nowhere.

In September 2005, Joran returned to the Netherlands to study at the HAN University of Applied Sciences. He was called back to Aruba in 2007 and taken into arrest but was released again. In 2008, a video from a sting operation in which Joran admitted to killing Natalee was shown in the media but the evidence could not be admitted into court. He traveled through the world in the coming years and resurfaced in Beth Holloway’s life in 2010 when he sent an email to her attorney.

He asked them to pay $250,000 to get information about Natalee’s disappearance and her dead body. Beth’s attorney saw this as an opportunity to nab him in a case of extortion and wire fraud and went ahead with the plan. Joran was given $15,000 by wire transfer and $10,000 in cash and he gave them some information. However, soon after he retracted his claims and told them that he only wanted the money. In June 2010, shortly after the incident, Joran lost his father and his mother claimed that he was heartbroken over it. He blamed himself for his father’s death and without telling anyone, he soon left his house again.

Joran resurfaced in an unrelated case where Stephany Flores Ramírez was murdered inside a room in the Atlantic City Casino in Lima, Peru. This happened exactly five years after Natalee had gone missing. Staff at the Atlantic City Casino mentioned that they had to break into the room as the occupant was unresponsive, and upon forcing their way inside, they found Stephany’s lifeless body on the bed. Since Stephany was the daughter of the businessman and former presidential candidate Ricardo Flores, the police tackled her case with extra caution and soon realized that the entire hotel was covered in CCTV cameras.

Hence, authorities pulled hundreds of hours of footage from several security cameras and sifted through the evidence painstakingly before realizing that Stephany was last seen in the company of Joran Van Der Sloot. She was seen entering her room, but only the suspect emerged alive, and the staff found Stephany’s dead body inside the room that was booked in Joran’s name. On top of it, an autopsy determined that Stephany had suffered blunt-force trauma to the head, which eventually led to her death.

Joran Van Der Sloot is Serving His Time in Peruvian Jail Today

Image Credit: ABC News

While Stephany Flores Ramirez was murdered on May 30, 2010, Joran soon realized how risky it was for him to remain in Peru, and he immediately fled to Chile to lay low for a while. However, law enforcement officials followed him to Chile, and within a week, he was arrested and extradited to Peru. Interestingly, once questioned, Joran admitted to killing Stephany but soon tried to take his confession back. However, once put on trial, the judge stated that the confession would be admissible in court, and after convicting Joran of murder, he sentenced the accused to 28 years in prison in 2010.

In the US, a grand jury indicted him on the charges of wire fraud and extortion in Natalee Holloway’s case. However, extradition took a long time. Meanwhile, Joran married Leidy Figueroa in 2014 and had a daughter with her in the same year because he had conjugal rights. In February 2021, he was convicted on the charges of drug trafficking inside the prison and got an additional 18-year sentence for it. Reports at the time suggested that he was having multiple affairs which led to the breakdown of his marriage and eventual divorce in 2023.

In June 2023, Joran was extradited to the US to face the charges against him. By October, he pleaded guilty to the charges of extortion and wire fraud. In a proffer letter, he also admitted to killing Natalee and gave details of her murder. He was handed down a sentence of 20 years for extortion and sent back to Peru to serve his sentence concurrently. He is still incarcerated in Peruvian jail and is scheduled to be released in 2045, but there are also disputed reports that he is currently being targeted by his fellow inmates.

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