Joran Van Der Sloot Arrested in Chile, Charged With Extortion in Alabama

Update: Wire service reporting Joran Van der Sloot will be extradited to Peru tomorrow. Sounds like either he agreed to it or he's not being extradited, but expelled. I'm getting more and more convinced he didn't kill anyone and the authorities know it.

Joran Van der Sloot was arrested in Chile today and is in custody awaiting a decision from Peru on how it wants to proceed.

Van der Sloot was also charged in federal court in the Northern District of Alabama with extortion and wire fraud. The amended complaint is here. He's accused of trying to sell information about the whereabouts of Natalee Holloway's body and how she died.

Authorities in Peru say he and Stephany Flores were seen going to his hotel room about 5:00 a.m. Sunday, and Joran was seen leaving the hotel alone four hours later. Flores' body wasn't found until Wednesday. There's no mention of whether he was bloody or disheveled when seen leaving the hotel, but the cab driver who took him to Chile doesn't mention his appearance being out of the ordinary.

In Lima, police Gen. Cesar Guardia said Flores, who had been seen with the suspect early Sunday, was found Wednesday lying face down on the floor of van der Sloot's hotel room. Her neck was broken, and she was fully clothed, with no signs of having been sexually abused, Guardia told The Associated Press. Authorities found no potential murder weapons in the room, Garcia said.


Chilean police did not handcuff Joran as they escorted him into the police station. Nor did he resist. The cab drivers' comments are here.

It will be interesting to see when medical examiners fix Flores' time (and day) of death. It may well turn out she was killed long after Van der Sloot left the hotel. All the speculation about date rape drugs seems unfounded if the victim showed no signs of sexual abuse.

Joe Tacopina, cautioned against a rush to judgment. "Joran van der Sloot has been falsely accused of murder once before. The fact is he wears a bull's-eye on his back now and he is a quote-unquote usual suspect when it comes to allegations of foul play," Tacopina said.

As for the Alabama case, the charges are that he offered to sell information upon receipt of payment of a large sum of money. There's still no evidence he had real information to sell. It may have been a money scam, particularly since the U.S. Attorney says he provided false information.

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    Won't the medical examiner most likely (none / 0) (#1)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 10:41:09 PM EST
    opine as to a time range, not a specific time of death?  Also, if the victim ingested a substance which affected her conciousness, isn't that relevant even though there may have be no evidence of sexual intercourse?  

    the point is that if the time (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:13:55 PM EST
    of death (whether a time or a range of time) is later than Sunday morning, Joran didn't do it. He was gone by 9:00 am. Her body wasn't found till Weds. For example, if the medical examiner finds she died  Sunday night, Monday or Tuesday, he didn't do it.

    The news article didn't mention intercourse, it said the body showed "no signs of sexual abuse." The point of a date rape drug is to have some kind of sex with the victim. If there's no sign of sexual abuse (which I imagine would include torn underwear or a partially disrobed victim for example) and no signs of sexual trauma, it seems unlikely anyone gave her a date rate drug.

    If she'd been drugged, it's unlikely she'd be able to resist, so why break her neck? If she's drugged and not resisting, then why wouldn't the person who gave her the date rape drug have sex with her?

    This story makes little sense. Breaking the neck of a girl who apparently voluntarily accompanied him to his room in a foreign country doesn't seem to fit him. I think there was an intruder after he left. Maybe she had a jealous boyfriend who found out she had left with Joran and gone to his hotel and he tracked her down. He's a convenient suspect and he seemed pretty non-preturbed at being caught in Chile. And no handcuffs? Maybe they know he didn't do it but want him to catch the true perp. It's just as possible as the guilt scenario, and where there's doubt, we should all go with innocence.


    No boyfriend (none / 0) (#3)
    by waldenpond on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:25:35 PM EST
    A female friend of hers stated she is a lesbian, so the 'no sex' makes sense.

    Maybe it was a jealous girlfriend (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:34:02 PM EST
    and not a boyfriend.

    Time Magazine is reporting (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:35:13 PM EST
    They went to his room around 5 am Sunday morning, he left Monday, she was found Weds.

    We'll have to wait for (none / 0) (#6)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:38:36 PM EST
    more info as to whether sex happened or didn't happen.  There are all kinds of possible scenarios for what could have happened.  If there's no evidence of sex but she has his DNA under her fingernails, that's pretty conclusive.

    But my concern is the literal overkill, the violence of the murder, which is almost always a sign that the culprit is someone close to the victim.

    This guy is, however, clearly unbalanced, so speculating about motive seems pointless.  The person he -- allegedly -- extorted money from in exchange for information about Natalee is Natalee's mother.


    Don't agree violence indicates victim was (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:47:29 PM EST
    close to perp.  Doesn't comport with my professional experience.

    agree Oculus (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:54:30 PM EST
    OK (none / 0) (#22)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:12:54 PM EST
    I'm just repeating what I've heard every criminal profiler, psychologist and investigator assert over and over and over again.

    In any case, it's not true.  She was apparently not bludgeoned and stabbed and mutilated as the initial reports have had it, she was just whacked on the side of the head.


    where did you see the report that (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Jun 03, 2010 at 11:58:29 PM EST
    the extortion victim is Natalee's mother? The authorities haven't said who the victim is.

    answering my own question (none / 0) (#12)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:39:22 AM EST
    I saw a news report saying Greta said so.

    Who? (none / 0) (#14)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 07:35:03 AM EST
    The US Attorney, who is bringing the charges, refuses to say who was extorted.  Do you know where Greta got her information?

    Greta has the trust of (none / 0) (#21)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 11:10:38 PM EST
    the Holloway forces, so it could have come from any of them.

    I saw that too, in print, not on Greta (none / 0) (#15)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:41:23 AM EST
    Possibly on salon.com

    Do they use handcuffs in chile (none / 0) (#11)
    by hairspray on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:38:22 AM EST
    in all occasions?

    Does "no signs of sexual abuse" (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 08:43:26 AM EST
    mean no sex occurred? Thankfully, not in my experience.

    Her body was found (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 09:10:13 AM EST
    Tuesday night, not Wednesday.

    Stephany Flores' neck was broken in a hotel room registered to van der Sloot, who police believe met the University of Lima business student for the first time the previous night at a nearby casino. Her body was found by a maid late Tuesday.

    She was fully clothed and there were no signs she had been sexually assaulted, the chief of Peru's criminal police, Gen. 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, indicating the killer may have used his bare hands.

    Guardia added that police are investigating why it took until Tuesday night for hotel staff to discover the body.

    He was handcuffed and put on a plane to Peru this morning.


    From what I've been reading (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:02:47 PM EST
    today, while the coroner's report is still pending, the initial estimate of time of death is Sunday morning around 8:30 am. A hotel employee said she heard the two of the arguing hours before Flores died.

    Her body was found Tuesday, but since he left instructions that no one should enter his room - not even to clean it - and he paid through 14 days, that isn't surprising, although authorities are looking into it.


    How does a person break (none / 0) (#10)
    by hairspray on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 01:35:26 AM EST
    another adult's neck? The broken necks I have seen (in the hospital)were caused by the head first fall into something very solid.  Common are auto accidents with the victim thrown out and landing on the head or a dive into a shallow pool.
    Breaking another person's neck seems to require a great deal of strength.

    I was curious about this, too (none / 0) (#13)
    by Yman on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 06:39:54 AM EST
    Not sure about the source, but it sounds like it would require a great deal of strength.  Apparently, 1260 foot pounds, compared to the average boxer's punch of 800 to 1,000 ft./lbs., which appears to be based on tables/formulas used for hanging executions, where the force would be concentrated by a (relatively) narrow rope.

    The soldiers who were quads (break (none / 0) (#20)
    by hairspray on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 12:12:09 PM EST
    at the C2 to C5) usually sustained a fall, or a gunshot to the spine, or the impact of an explosive device.  It will be interesting and accurate I hope to hear how her neck was broken.  It must have been a high injury (C2) which caused her to lose her respiratory ability.

    Interesting case (none / 0) (#18)
    by ruffian on Fri Jun 04, 2010 at 10:32:26 AM EST
    I didn't realize there was such a wide window in the timing. We'll see what the medical examiner says. Van Der Sloot may just be a really bad luck charm.