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Victim in Peru found link between van der Sloot, Holloway, source says

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Van der Sloot could get 35 years at most
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Victim found information linking van der Sloot to Natalee Holloway
  • Joran van der Sloot confessed to the killing Monday night, officials say
  • Van der Sloot may be formally charged as early as Wednesday
  • Victim was found on the floor of his hotel room, police report says

Peruvian officials say Joran van der Sloot has confessed to the slaying of Stephany Flores Ramirez. What will this development mean for the Natalee Holloway case? Watch "Nancy Grace," at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday on HLN.

Lima, Peru (CNN) -- The Peruvian woman who died in Joran van der Sloot's hotel room was killed after she discovered information on his laptop linking him to the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, a source with direct knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

Van der Sloot, the longtime suspect in the Holloway case, confessed Monday night to the killing of Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, whose body was found in a hotel room last week, Peruvian authorities said.

He could be formally charged as early as Wednesday, the authorities said.

Van der Sloot was interrogated for seven hours Monday, the source with direct knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

The Dutch citizen told investigators that he left the hotel room to buy bread and coffee at a gas station next to the hotel, the source said.

Upon his return, he found Flores going through his laptop, where she found something linking him to the disappearance of Holloway, the source said.

At that point, Flores wanted to leave, and the pair started arguing, according to the source.

Flores slapped van der Sloot, and he hit her back, and then grabbed her neck, the source said.

Video: Van der Sloot on camera with victim
Video: Van der Sloot: Admits to murder
Video: Van Der Sloot, slain woman on tape
Timeline: Natalee Holloway case
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Van der Sloot told investigators he was intoxicated on marijuana when all this happened, the source said.

Although Flores' body was found half-dressed, there was no evidence that she had sexual intercourse that night, the source said.

Van der Sloot had access to a public defender, but it was unclear whether he had used his services. Attempts by CNN to reach the public defenders' office were unsuccessful.

Van der Sloot, 22, was arrested twice in connection with Holloway's disappearance in Aruba but was released for lack of evidence. He has denied any involvement and has not been charged.

He was originally slated to show authorities Tuesday a re-enactment of the crime at the Hotel Tac, where he was staying. Because of security reasons, however, the re-enactment has been delayed, authorities said Tuesday.

Peru National Police Col. Abel Gamarra said the re-enactment could happen as early as Wednesday.

Flores' body was found in the room registered to van der Sloot. Video from hotel security cameras shows van der Sloot and Flores entering his room at 5:33 a.m. on May 30. He emerged alone and left the hotel more than three hours later, the video shows.

He was arrested in Chile on Thursday and returned to Peru on Friday.

At van der Sloot's first court appearance, the judge may set a hearing date and order additional investigations.

The Peruvian justice system often issues a lighter sentence in cases in which the suspect confesses.

Van der Sloot could get up to 35 years in prison. There is no death penalty or life sentence in Peru.

A Peruvian police report leaked Monday said Flores' body was found on van der Sloot's hotel room floor, half-dressed. The report also provides new details about the hours before the body was found.

According to the document, the Hotel Tac received a call from someone looking for van der Sloot about 11 p.m. June 1. The receptionist forwarded the call, but no one answered. The hotel worker assumed that van der Sloot was asleep because the room key was with him and not at the front desk.

About an hour later, according to the police report, the receptionist noticed that van der Sloot owed money for two nights and went up to his room, where her knocks went unanswered. The television was blaring, so the hotel employee figured he was resting, the report says.

Afterward, the hotel supervisor told the employee to go back to van der Sloot's room and enter using a spare key. When the employee went in, she found Flores' body on the floor, dressed in a black T-shirt and red panties, half-covered with a piece of white clothing, the police report said.

Flores had bled from her nose, the report said.

The hotel employee became frightened and went to alert her supervisor and the police, turning off the television and lights on her way out of the room, the report said.

The developments in the van der Sloot case came as the Natalee Holloway Resource Center opened Tuesday in Washington. The nonprofit center is located at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. Natalee's mother, Beth Holloway, attended the opening.

She urged supporters to keep the Flores family "in our hearts and in our prayers."

The center says it will provide families of missing persons help with managing their crises and give students advice on traveling safely.

CNN's Rafael Romo and Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report

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