Peruvian authorities, according to HLN’s Nancy Grace, are waiting for the return of DNA lab results from tests being performed on skin fragments found under the fingernails of slain business student Stephany Flores Ramirez that could considerably complicate matters for Joran Van Der Sloot, the 22-year-old Dutchman being held on suspicion of robbery and murder charges after confessing to killing the young woman. A DNA match could bring further charges against Van Der Sloot. Skin under fingernails suggest that the woman may have been attempting to ward off an attacker before her death. If that is deemed to be the case, prosecutors might seek additional charges of attempted rape against Van Der Sloot.
The victim’s father believes that is what police will find. The day Joran Van Der Sloot arrived back in Peru, June 4, after being detained and extradited from neighboring Chile on an international arrest warrant, Ricardo Flores told the Associated Press, “Under the fingernails of my daughter, there are traces, evidence, that’s why they didn’t permit her cremation.”
“My daughter resisted,” a distraught Flores, who is also a prominent politician in Peru who once ran for president, accused from his home in Peru. “There was violence, resistance to being raped – and there’s where she was murdered.”
If prosecutors believe this to be true, a DNA match would most likely be enough for them to levy charges of attempted rape against Van Der Sloot.
But if the DNA of the skin fragments is not a match with Joran Van Der Sloot? Peruvian prosecutors would then have the difficulty of proving that someone else was not involved in the killing of Stephany Flores Ramirez. However, video surveillance footage evidence places Joran Van Der Sloot in the Lima hotel room with Flores Ramirez and only Van Der Sloot leaving the room until the young woman’s body was found two days later.
And then there is Van Der Sloot’s confession. He claims to have elbowed Stephany Flores Ramirez in the face while the two were sitting on the hotel bed. He said he had caught her looking at a message concerning Natalee Holloway, the Alabama high school student that disappeared on Aruba in 2005, and it enraged him. Van Der Sloot remains the primary suspect in the Holloway case. He said that Flores Ramirez’ intrusion into his “private life” caused him to hit her. As she was dazed and blood was everywhere, he told Peruvian police that he panicked and strangled her.
Van Der Sloot later retracted the confession, claiming that authorities had intimidated him into confessing and had not provided him with proper counsel and a translator.
If it is Van Der Sloot’s DNA that is found in the skin fragments, Van Der Sloot will then have to explain how his skin got under the murder victim’s fingernails. His confession, retracted or no, never mentioned Stephany Flores Ramirez defending herself.
Police believe Joran Van Der Sloot targeted Stephany Flores Ramirez, that her death was in no way an accident, intentionally luring her back to his hotel room to rob her and kill her. After killing her on the morning of May 30, Van Der Sloot crossed the border into Chile the next day, June 1. It wasn’t until the following evening that Flores Ramirez body was found by a hotel employee face down on the floor. Police issued an international warrant for Van Der Sloot’s arrest on Wednesday, June 2. Van Der Sloot was picked up by Chilean authorities the next day and returned to Peru.
At present, Joran Van Der Sloot is being held at Miguel Castro Castro Prison in Lima in an isolated cell. A judge has ruled that his confession is valid and can be used as evidence.
“Nancy Grace,” HLN Television
Associated Press via MSNBC.com