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Suspect in Peru woman's slaying arrested in Chile, police say

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Joran van der Sloot to return to Peru
  • Extradition to Peru arranged, say Chilean interior minister, Interpol
  • Joran van der Sloot entered Chile on Wednesday, Chile says
  • Woman's body found Wednesday in his hotel room, police say
  • Van der Sloot previously a suspect in Alabama teen's disappearance

Santiago, Chile (CNN) -- Joran van der Sloot, the suspect in a young woman's slaying this week in Peru and previously considered a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway in Aruba, was captured Thursday in Chile, authorities said.

Van der Sloot is the main suspect in this week's slaying of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez, who was found Wednesday in a Lima, Peru, hotel room registered to the Dutch man. Chilean police told CNN that paperwork showed that van der Sloot entered Chile on Wednesday.

Peruvian Interior Minister Octavio Salazar Miranda said Thursday that Peru has made arrangements with Interpol to extradite van der Sloot. Interpol confirmed that Chile will send van der Sloot back to Peru.

Van der Sloot also faces an arrest warrant on charges of extortion and wire fraud in Alabama, U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said Thursday. The charges are unrelated to the killing of a Peruvian woman, and deal with an attempt to sell details about Holloway for $250,000, Vance said.

Van der Sloot, 23, was traveling alone in a taxi near the Chilean central coastal city of Vina del Mar when he was detained, said Douglas Rodriguez, spokesman for the Chilean Investigative Police.

Van der Sloot was transported Thursday afternoon to police headquarters in Santiago, Chile's capital.

TV images showed him emerging from a black police SUV at the police station. His hair, which had been black in previous images, was red and worn in a close-cropped crew cut.

In Peru, a wake was held Thursday in Lima for Flores, who was scheduled to be buried later in the day.

An uncle of Natalee Holloway said he was saddened by the Flores family's loss.

Video: Holloway's uncle on van der Sloot arrest
Video: Attorney: 'Eerie coincidence'
Video: Victim's brother speaks out
Video: Van der Sloot accused again
Timeline: Natalee Holloway case

"We are disappointed that Joran has been able to do this to another young girl," Paul Reynolds told CNN. "He was not held accountable for what happened to Natalee and as a result has been able to repeat his actions. Sorry this other family has to go through the same thing we have.

Van der Sloot, who was arrested in connection with Holloway's disappearance in 2005 but later released, has denied any involvement in her case.

There is "incriminating evidence" linking van der Sloot to the killing of Flores, said Peruvian criminal investigator Cesar Guardia Vasquez.

The woman's bludgeoned body was found in Room 309 of the Hotel Tac in the Miraflores section of Lima, police said. She suffered blunt trauma to the head, breaking her neck, and to her torso and back, Peruvian police said Thursday.

Van der Sloot had been staying at the hotel since arriving from Colombia on May 14, police said. Room 309 was booked in his name, authorities said.

A hotel guest and an employee witnessed the pair entering the hotel room together at 5 a.m. Sunday, Guardia said. Police have video of van der Sloot and Flores together the previous night at the Atlantic City Casino in Lima, he said.

Two Peruvian cab drivers said in an interview on CNN affiliate America TV that they drove a man matching van der Sloot's description to a city on the other side of the Chilean border.

"He paid me and I took him to Arica, to the border," cab driver Oswaldo Aparcana said.

The man sat in the front seat and smoked many cigarettes, Aparcana said. The passenger told the cabbies he used to live in Aruba, said the other driver, Carlos Alberto Uribe.

The victim's father said he believes van der Sloot is responsible for the young woman's death.

"We have all the evidence to show that the killer is this man," businessman and race-car driver Ricardo Flores told CNN en Español.

But van der Sloot's former attorney, Joseph Tacopina, told CNN it was too early to reach any conclusions.

"I just think we need to take a step back before we get to the 'I told you so' stage, and let's see what the evidence is here," Tacopina said Thursday.

Tacopina said he is not representing van der Sloot and no longer has a good relationship with the family.

Holloway, the Alabama teenager, disappeared May 30, 2005, five years to the day since the hotel videotape that officials say showed van der Sloot and Flores going into his hotel room. Both women are reported to have met van der Sloot at a night spot.

Ricardo Flores said police found his daughter's car about 50 blocks from the hotel. Inside the car, he said, authorities found pills like those used in date rapes.

Ricardo Flores said he did not believe his daughter knew the Dutch citizen beforehand.

Both of them speak English and they struck up conversation at the casino, he said.

Interpol had alerted its office in Chile and other bordering countries of the case and placed them on alert in case van der Sloot tried to leave that country, Peruvian Interpol Interim Director Gerson Ortiz told CNN.

Van der Sloot was arrested in Aruba in 2005 along with two other men, brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, in connection with Holloway's disappearance. They were later released.

In 2007, they were arrested a second time after Aruba's then-chief prosecutor, Hans Mos, said he had received new evidence in the case.

Van der Sloot, who was attending college in the Netherlands, was brought back to Aruba. But judges ruled the new evidence -- which included an Internet chat the same day Holloway disappeared in which one of the three youths said she was dead -- was not enough to keep them jailed.

In 2008, prosecutors sought unsuccessfully to arrest van der Sloot a third time after a videotape surfaced on Dutch television. In it, van der Sloot tells a man he considered to be his friend that he had sex with Holloway on the beach after leaving the nightclub, then she "started shaking" and lost consciousness. He said he panicked when he could not resuscitate her and called a friend who had a boat. The two put Holloway's body in the boat, he said, and then he went home. The friend told him the next day that he had carried the body out and dumped it in the ocean.

But an Aruba court ruled there was not enough evidence to re-arrest him. Aruban prosecutors said authorities had met with van der Sloot in the Netherlands, but in a two-hour interview he denied any role in Holloway's disappearance.

CNN's Beth Carey contributed to this report.