Authorities say there is “incriminating evidence” linking the Dutch national, 23 – who was previously arrested in the 2005 disappearance of Natalee Holloway but later released – to the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, whose body was found Wednesday in a Lima hotel room registered under Van der Sloot’s name, Cesar Guardia Vasquez of Chile Interpol’s criminal investigations unit said at a news conference.
Van der Sloot reportedly entered Chile on Wednesday and was spotted in Arica, near the Peruvian border, according to investigators. He is currently in police custody in Santiago.
Ricardo Flores, the father of the murdered woman, thanked police in Lima Thursday and told reporters, “I hope my daughter will be happy to know that this murderer is going to pay for what he has done,” according to the Peruvian newspaper El Comerico.
Van der sloot was arrested while in a taxi on his way to Vina del Mar, a coastal city in Chile, according to the paper.
Peruvian Justice Minister Octavio Salazar Miranda said Thursday that Peru had made arrangements with Interpol to extradite Van der Sloot once he was captured, CNN reports.
Van der Sloot’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said on Thursday’s The Early Show that his client was “an easy guy to point the finger at.”
“He’s a popular suspect, he’s someone who people believe – people have very strong opinions about this – that he got away with murder, literally, in Aruba which, the evidence says otherwise, the judges have said otherwise,” said Tacopina. “But he’s someone who is easy to point the finger at, he wears a bulls-eye on his back.”