Continued from page 1

Van der Sloot didn’t deliver on the offer, and may have used some of that money to fly to Peru two weeks before the Flores murder.

After killing the Lima woman, he took nearly $300 in cash from Flores as well as credit cards, and was captured four days later in Chile.

Van der Sloot told police he flew into a rage when she discovered his connection to Holloway via an instant message sent to him while they were playing online poker in his hotel room.

Police forensic experts disputed that story, and the three female judges who sentenced him noted that Van der Sloot later recanted the confession, claiming it was exacted under duress and without an official translator.

The victim’s family contends Van der Sloot killed Flores in order to rob her.

The imposing young man raised on a tourist island has been a staple of tabloids and true crime TV, as well as the subject of several books about Natalee Holloway.

“We’ve been dealing with her death for the last six and a half years,” her father, Dave Holloway, said after Thursday’s hearing in Birmingham, Alabama.

He said the judge’s order there on his daughter’s death closes one chapter in the ordeal, but added: “We’ve still got a long way to go to get justice.”

Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old from the wealthy Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook, disappeared on May 30, 2005, during a high school graduation trip to Aruba, where Van der Sloot grew up.

Her body was never found and repeated searches turned up nothing even as intense media coverage brought the case worldwide attention.

Van der Sloot said he was involved in her disappearance in a videotape clandestinely made by a Dutch journalist. He later denied it, however, and has told several interviewers that he is a pathological liar.

A homicide investigation into Holloway’s death remains open in Aruba though there has been no recent activity, said Solicitor General Taco Stein, an official with the prosecutor’s office in Aruba.

There is no indication U.S. officials have moved to seek to extradite Van der Sloot; Peru’s Foreign Ministry said this week that it has no U.S. extradition request for him.

No members of Van der Sloot’s family attended the trial in Peru. His lawyer said the defendant’s mother, Anita, did not want the media attention.

The defendant’s father, a prominent lawyer, died of a heart attack at age 57 in February 2010.

Story Continues →