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Former suspect in Natalee Holloway case wanted in Peruvian murder case

By the CNN Wire Staff
Joran van der Sloot, once tied to the Natalee Holloway case, is a suspect in a murder in Peru, officials say.
Joran van der Sloot, once tied to the Natalee Holloway case, is a suspect in a murder in Peru, officials say.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Chilean authorities on manhunt for Joran van der Sloot
  • Joran van der Sloot suspected in Peruvian killing
  • Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, found dead in hotel room
  • Van der Sloot was suspect in Natalee Holloway case

(CNN) -- Joran van der Sloot, the Dutch man once considered a suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, is the suspect in the killing of a woman in Peru, Peruvian police officials said Wednesday.

Authorities in neighboring Chile are on a manhunt for van der Sloot, who fled there, Chile Interpol Deputy Prefect Eugenio Buines Arevalo told CNN.

Chilean police are looking for van der Sloot in various hotels and other overnight accommodations in the border region with Peru, he said. Van der Sloot will be extradited to Peru if captured, he said.

Police also are checking border and customs checkpoints. As of Wednesday there were no sightings of the suspect, and police were investigating if van der Sloot went deeper into Chile, Buines said.

There is "incriminating evidence" linking van der Sloot to the killing of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramirez, who was found with multiple stab wounds in a Lima hotel room Wednesday, Cesar Guardia Vasquez, of the criminal investigations unit, said at a news conference.

The hotel room where Flores was found was registered in van der Sloot's name, he said.

Video: Van der Sloot wanted in new case
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A hotel guest and an employee witnessed the pair entering the hotel room together at 5 a.m. on Sunday, Guardia said.

Police have video of the previous night, May 29, of van der Sloot and Flores together at the Atlantic City Casino in Lima, he said.

According to immigration officials, van der Sloot fled to Chile over land on Monday, Guardia said.

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

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

"If history teaches us any lesson from van der Sloot/Holloway case, it's that there have been way too many false facts that have been leaked and rumors that have been proven untrue," Tacopina said. "We need to take a step back. I have not been contacted and the family has not been contacted. Joran has not been asked by anyone to surrender."

Ricardo Flores said that police found his daughter's car about 50 blocks from the hotel, and that inside, they found pills like those used in date rape cases.

Similar to the Holloway case, van der Sloot and Flores allegedly met at a night spot, in this case, a casino. Ricardo Flores said he did not believe that his daughter knew the Dutch citizen from before.

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

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

An international arrest warrant could be issued in the next 48 hours, he said.

In 2005, van der Sloot was arrested in Aruba along with two other men, brothers Deepak and Satish Kalpoe, in connection with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.

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 with one of the three youths saying 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 Eric Marrapodi and Mayra Cuevas contributed to this report.

 
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