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Murder suspect returns to Peru to face charges

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Van der Sloot held by Peruvian police
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police identify baseball bat as murder weapon
  • Hecklers, media greet suspect at Peruvian border
  • Brother of slain woman says "this pain won't go away"
  • Van der Sloot was previously a suspect in Alabama teen's disappearance

Santa Rosa, Peru (CNN) -- Murder suspect Joran van der Sloot arrived Friday in Peru to face charges that he killed a Peruvian woman as police in Lima said they had identified the weapon that killed 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez.

Flores' body was found Wednesday in a Lima hotel room registered to van der Sloot, a Dutch citizen who was twice arrested and released in connection with the 2005 disappearance of an American teenager, Natalee Holloway, in Aruba.

Investigators also found a baseball bat in the room, two law enforcement sources -- who said it was the murder weapon -- told HLN's "Nancy Grace."

Chilean authorities delivered van der Sloot to their Peruvian counterparts in the border town of Santa Rosa, where he was greeted by hecklers and dozens of media personnel jostling for position to get a better picture of the Dutch citizen.

Video: Holloway's uncle on van der Sloot arrest
Video: Victim's family speaks
Video: Beth Holloway: I still have hope
Timeline: Natalee Holloway case
Video: Cops: Baseball bat used in murder
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Paperwork showed that van der Sloot entered Chile the same day Flores' body was found, Chilean police told CNN. He was captured in Chile on Thursday and flown Friday aboard a military aircraft to the border to be expelled, said Macarena Lopez, a spokeswoman for Interpol.

The Chileans drove Van der Sloot across the border to a Peruvian police station. He made a 100-foot walk from the car to the station as journalists pushed past a police line and a handful of hecklers rained loud and angry obscenities on the suspect's head.

Van der Sloot was taken inside the station for processing. From there, he was to be taken to the nearby town of Tanca and then flown to Lima.

Holloway was on a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005 when she disappeared. Van der Sloot was arrested twice in connection with the case but released both times. He denied any involvement and has not been charged.

The family of Stephany Flores Ramirez, the woman found dead in van der Sloot's hotel room, said Friday they had mixed emotions about the suspect's capture and return to face charges in Peru.

"I cannot say that I was happy," brother Enrique Flores told CNN's Rafael Romo. "I feel a little relief in this pain that I have and that my family has. This pain that won't go away ... We want this action not to happen again."

Stephany's sister-in-law Carolina Jorge was more outspoken.

"We need justice for our family, for Natalee's family," she said.

Stephany's father, Ricardo, was more wistful and philosophical.

"My daughter had everything in life," the businessman and race car driver said. "Perhaps my error was to show her the pretty side of the world. I didn't show her that there was the other side to the world -- the evilness."

The family said they thought Stephany had been abducted until authorities found her body. Her burial was Thursday.

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.

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 the 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 Thursday when he was detained, said Douglas Rodriguez, spokesman for the Chilean Investigative Police.

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

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.

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 Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.

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