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Published On: Thu, May 30th, 2019

This Day in History: Natalee Holloway goes missing, Stephany Flores Ramirez dead five years later, Joran Van der Sloot guilty

May 30, 2005 was the day Natalee Holloway went missing and five years later, Stephany Flores Ramirez was found dead and Joran Van der Sloot confessed to the murder.

Authorities believe Van der Sloot attempted to extort money from Natalee Holloway’s family in exchange for the whereabouts of their daughters body. The family sent $15,000 to a Dutch bank account in Van der Sloot’s name and a few days later he showed up in Peru.

Natalee Holloway yearbook photo ddead in 2005

Natalee Holloway

Natalee Holloway Disappears

During a post-graduation trip to Aruba, Holloway enjoy a party trip, engaged in “wild partying, a lot of drinking, lots of room switching every night. We know the Holiday Inn told them they weren’t welcome next year. Natalee, we know, she drank all day every day. We have statements she started every morning with cocktails—so much drinking that Natalee didn’t show up for breakfast two mornings,” stated Police Commissioner Gerold Dompig.

Two of Holloway’s classmates, Liz Cain and Claire Fierman, “agreed that the drinking was kind of excessive.”

Holloway was last seen by her classmates around 1:30 a.m. on Monday, May 30, as she was leaving the Oranjestad bar and nightclub Carlos’n Charlie’s.

She left in a car with Van der Sloot, his two Surinamese friends. Holloway was scheduled to fly home later that day, but she didn’t appear for her return flight.

Van der Sloot (then age 17), along with the Kalpoe brothers, Deepak (then age 21) and Satish (then age 18), was arrested on 9 June 2005, as a suspect in the 30 May 2005 disappearance of Holloway, who was declared legally dead six years after she disappeared. The Kalpoe brothers were released in July, then re-arrested in August for the rape and murder, but were released with Van der Sloot in September due to a lack of evidence.

After his release, Van der Sloot was required to stay within Dutch territory pending the results of the investigation.

John Ludwick claimed in a documentary that he helped dispose of the remains of Natalee. Ludwick was never charged, and the remains did not belong to Holloway, after all: A forensic analysis showed that a bone sample recovered in Aruba could not have been Holloway’s remains. In 2018, authorities in Florida said Ludwick tried to kidnap a young woman from her driveway — and was killed in the process.

Stephany Flores Ramirez found dead

The Peruvian business student, Stephany Flores, went missing on May 30th after she was seen leaving a Lima casino with Van der Sloot, and was later found dead in a Lima hotel room. Van der Sloot was still being considered a suspect in Natalle Holloway’s murder in Aruba, where she went missing 5 years ago.

Van der Sloot got angry when he found out the Peruvian girl google searched his name on his computer. A tennis racquet, identified by the coroner as a possible homicide weapon, was recovered from the room.

A hotel guest and an employee came forward to say they saw Van der Sloot and the victim entering the hotel room together, and the police obtained video of the two playing cards at the same table the night before at the Atlantic City Casino in Lima.

Ricardo Flores said that police found date rape drugs in his daughter’s car, parked about 50 blocks from the hotel where she died. Her jewelry, money, identification and credit cards were missing, including about $1,000 her father had given her to purchase a laptop, and over $10,000 she had won earlier at the casino.[

Peruvian officials named Van der Sloot as the lone suspect in the homicide investigation. Interpol issued an international arrest warrant for Van der Sloot, believing that he had fled the country to Chile, possibly intending to return to Aruba through Argentina. Van der Sloot was sighted entering Chile via the Chacalluta border crossing. He was arrested on June 3.

An autopsy ruled that Flores did not have sexual intercourse before her death and that she was not under the influence of enough alcohol to prevent her from resisting an attack. She suffered blunt-force trauma to her head, which caused a brain hemorrhage, cranial fracture, and broken neck. She also suffered significant injuries to her face and showed signs of asphyxiation, according to court documents.

On June 7, 2010, Van der Sloot reportedly confessed to killing Flores, after hours of interrogation.

Van der Sloot later retracted this confession in a prison cell interview with De Telegraaf, claiming that he had been coerced and “tricked” by police with a promise to be transferred to the Netherlands. He stated that at the time he signed the confession documents, he did not understand the content as it was in Spanish. He was quoted: “In my blind panic, I signed everything, but didn’t even know what it said.”

Van der Sloot told the American television show A Current Affair that neither he nor the Kalpoe brothers had sex with Natalee. Van der Sloot’s parents stated that their son was unfairly singled out and that the investigation left them devastated.

In  January 2012, Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to the “qualified murder” and simple robbery of Flores. Then in 2014, Van der Sloot was transferred to Challapalca prison in the mountainous South of Peru, where circumstances are harsh due to the location’s altitude.

Two months later, a Dutch online news service reported that Van der Sloot was stabbed and critically injured by fellow prisoners in Peru.

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- Stories transferred over from The Desk of Brian where the original author was not determined and the content is still of interest of Dispatch readers.

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