The father of Stephany Flores Ramirez, the young woman found dead this week in a Lima hotel room, believes that she struggled against an attempted rape. Joran Van Der Sloot, the young man who once faced charges in the disappearance of 18-year-old Natalee Holloway in Aruba and who is now suspected in the killing of Stephany Flores, was transported to Lima police headquarters overnight and arrived Saturday morning after being detained by Chilean police Thursday and held for a day in Santiago. According to CNN, the 22-year-old Dutch national was led through a throng of reporters and photographers in handcuffs. Van Der Sloot was summarily processed and awaits formal charges that he killed Stephany Flores Ramirez.
The body of the victim, a 21-year-old Peruvian business student, was found late Tuesday night in a Lima hotel room registered in Joran Van Der Sloot’s name. She was found face down on the floor, her body bruised and abraded. Stephany Flores Ramirez was fully clothed. A tennis racket was found in the room and, according to the Associated Press, may have been the murder weapon. Law enforcement sources on HLN’s “Nancy Grace” referred to the instrument found as a baseball bat. There have also been reports that Sephany Flores was stabbed and asphyxiated, but nothing has been confirmed.
Ricardo Flores, father of the deceased young woman, spoke to the Associated Press on Friday. He told the news service that he believed his daughter had fought off an attempted rape and thinks that was why she was killed. Although Stephany Flores was buried Thursday, her father believes she will be exhumed. “Under the fingernails of my daughter,” Flores said, “there are traces, evidence, that’s why they didn’t permit her cremation.”
The Associated Press reported that a Chilean police spokesperson said that the only thing Joran Van Der Sloot said about Stephany Flores Ramirez was that “he met her and at some point they went to a casino,” but he did not kill her.
Peruvian police issued an international warrant for Joran Van Der Sloot’s arrest Wednesday, having information that Van Der Sloot had left Peru and entered neighboring Chile. Police had information that Van Der Sloot had been the last person to see Stephany Flores alive and wanted him for questioning.
Peruvian authorities had multiple witnesses placing the Dutchman with the victim throughout the early morning of May 30, two days before the body was found. A casino video surveillance camera captured images of Joran Van Der Sloot and the young woman together. A street camera also contained images of Van Der Sloot and Stephany Flores. A hotel employee saw the two enter the room Joran Van Der Sloot had rented for the week. About four hours later, Van Der Sloot was seen leaving the room alone. He entered Chile the next day.
Peruvian Police believe Stephany Flores was killed within the four-hour period wherein she and Joran Van Der Sloot shared the hotel room.
In what seems an odd coincidence, the death of Stephany Flores Ramirez occurred on the same date, five years later to the day, that Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba. Holloway, a high school student on vacation with classmates on the tiny Caribbean island, was last seen leaving a bar with Joran Van Der Sloot and a couple of his friends.
Joran Van Der Sloot was arrested twice in connection to the disappearance and suspected murder of Natalee Holloway. He was released due to insufficient evidence both times. Natalee Holloway’s body has never been recovered.
Associated Press via MSNBC.com