LIMA, Peru — He was the last person to see two young women alive — one in Aruba, one in Peru exactly five years later, police say. Joran van der Sloot was caught in a taxi Thursday, several days drive and a country away from the Lima hotel room where the second woman was found face down with a broken neck.
A fixture on TV true-crime shows after Natalee Holloway's disappearance in Aruba, the 22-year-old Dutchman did not speak or even turn his head when photographers shouted his name as Chilean police escorted him, without handcuffs, into a Santiago office for questioning.
Aruban authorities didn't prosecute van der Sloot even after he was caught on video saying he had asked a friend to dump Holloway's body. The Alabama woman's family was outraged by how Aruban authorities handled the case, and now the family of another young woman wants justice.
"This isn't a coincidence, this is murder," Stephany Flores' anguished father, Lima entertainment impresario Ricardo Flores, told reporters after van der Sloot's arrest.
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Van der Sloot was arrested the same day he was charged in Alabama with trying to extort $250,000 in return for giving the location of Holloway's body and describing the circumstances of Holloway's death. Federal prosecutors did not say who was allegedly extorted but filed a sworn statement saying that van der Sloot got a partial payment of $15,000 wired to a Netherlands bank.
Stephany Flores' neck was broken Sunday in a hotel room registered to van der Sloot, who police believe met the 21-year-old University of Lima business student for the first time the previous night at a nearby casino. Her body was found by a maid late Tuesday.
Ricardo Flores, a 48-year-old former race car driver and sometime politician, buried his daughter on Thursday in the upscale Jardines de la Paz cemetery accompanied by about 100 mourners. His inconsolable wife, Maria Elena Ramirez, held the slain girl's Minnie Mouse doll to her chest.
The father called on authorities to immediately bring van der Sloot to Peru to face justice.
"It's not just about my daughter," he said. "There's a matter pending in Aruba and we don't know how many more remain unpunished."
Stephany Flores was fully clothed and there were no signs she had been sexually abused, the chief of Peru's criminal police, Gen. Cesar Guardia, told the Associated Press.