The Dutch man suspected in the 2005 disappearance of American student Natalee Holloway in Aruba has confessed to murdering a 21-year-old Peruvian woman in his hotel room last month.
Col. Abel Gamarra, a spokesman for the Peruvian police, told the Associated Press that Joran Van der Sloot admitted Monday to killing Stephany Flores. On May 30, Van der Sloot met Flores, a business student in Lima, while he was gambling in a casino. Van der Sloot invited her upstairs, where security cameras captured footage of the two entering his room together at 5 a.m. Saturday. Four hours later, Van der Sloot exited the hotel alone with his bags. Several days went by before anyone found the body. Flores had been beaten with a blunt object; police suspect Van der Sloot used his tennis racket to bludgeon her to death. Her body showed no signs of sexual assault.
Van der Sloot spent the last three days in police custody. Police had planned to bring him to the hotel on Tuesday to reconstruct the crime scene, but it is unclear whether this is still necessary. Yesterday, during an interrogation session, Van der Sloot confessed to hitting Flores after she took his laptop and discovered who he really was. According to a Peruvian newspaper, Van der Sloot told police:
"I did not want to do it. The girl intruded into my private life. She had no right. I went to her and I hit her. She was scared. We argued and she tried to escape. I grabbed her by the neck and I hit her."
Police would not provide any more details of the murder or the interrogation conditions, though they have assured press that Van der Sloot is being held in a cell and being fed three full meals a day. A brother of the victim, Enrique Flores, told reporters, "we are not going to make any comment. This is in the hands of the police, of the justice system."
Following reports of Van der Sloot's confession, Dave Holloway went on Good Morning America to beg Van der Sloot to "tell everyone what happened" to his daughter. "Hopefully this is his last victim," he added. Last Thursday, Van der Sloot was charged with trying to extort $250,000 from the Holloway family in exchange for the location of Natalee's body and details about her death. If Van der Sloot is convicted for this murder, he faces up to 35 years in a Peruvian prison.