Joran van der Sloot suspected of murder in Peru

June 2, 2010 12:53:02 AM PDT
Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, is suspected of murdering 21-year-old Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramirez in Peru, ABC News has confirmed.Ramirez was found dead Wednesday morning at the hotel Tac in the Lima neighborhood Miraflores, after disappearing on Friday. According to broadcast reports, the room was trashed and the sheets were covered in blood.

Family members said Van der Sloot, now 22, was the last person to be seen with the woman before her death. Van der Sloot reportedly met Ramirez in a casino in Miraflores.

ABC News' Christine Brouwer reports that Aruban authorities have confirmed the report. Ann Angela, a spokeswoman for the Aruban public prosecutor's office, says the public prosecutor has received a call from Peruvian authorities confirming that Van der Sloot is a suspect in Ramirez's disappearance and murder.

Reporter Sharon Stevenson says Joran van der Sloot has left the country, passing through customs to Chile, according to Peruvian officials. They believe he may be headed to Argentina, but it appears he is on the run.

In Peruvian media reports, Ramirez's father Ricardo Flores, a prominent race car driver and businessman, said his daughter left with friends Friday morning and was last seen at 5:16 p.m. leaving a casino with Van der Sloot.

May 30 marked the five year anniversary of Natalee Holloway's disappearance. The 18-year-old from Mountain Brook, Alabama, disappeared while on vacation in Aruba in 2005 and was last seen leaving a bar with Van der Sloot on the final night of a high school graduation trip.

Van der Sloot, the son of a Dutch diplomat, has been detained several times, but Aruban prosecutors say they lack evidence to charge him.


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