Joran van der Sloot appears in federal court over Natalee Holloway's disappearance

The Dutch citizen was charged by the mother of the missing woman with extortion and fraud in 2010.

Who, why, where is the corpse? Twenty years after the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in Aruba (Caribbean), these fundamental questions remain unanswered. One of the main suspects, however, Joran van der Sloot, could begin to clarify some of these as early as Friday, when he is due to appear in court in Alabama.

Van der Sloot is charged with extorting and defrauding the young woman's mother, Elizabeth Ann Holloway. The Dutch citizen demanded, according to the lawsuit, $25,000 from Elizabeth Ann Holloway to reveal the location of the remains and the circumstances of her daughter's death (after several years missing, she was eventually presumed dead).

After receiving $10,000 from the family's attorney, John Q. Kelly, the defendant pointed to coordinates that he later admitted were useless. He also obtained a further US$15,000, via transfer to a bank account in the Netherlands. Had the information been true, van der Sloot would have received another $225,000, according to the negotiated settlement of the lawsuit.

2010 VD Sloot Indictment by Santiago Adolfo Ospital

Joran van der Sloot

In 2005, Joran Andreas Petrus van der Sloot was in Aruba studying at an international school. There he was seen leaving a bar with Natalee Holloway, 18, who was celebrating her high school graduation. They were accompanied at the time by two brothers.

That was one of the last times Holloway was seen.

Mugshot of Joran van Der Sloot's mug shot in 2005, following the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.
Joran van der Sloot (2005) (Interpol / Wikimedia Commons)

When the family noticed Holloway's disappearance on May 30, 2005, an international investigation began involving the FBI and the Dutch Armed Forces.

After a few weeks, the then student was arrested along with the two other men who were with them on the last night Holloway was seen. He pleaded not guilty - he testified that she was dropped off at her own hotel - and was released.

Three years later, an undercover journalist recorded van der Sloot confessing that he and his friends had thrown the girl's body into the ocean. However, the recording did not serve as evidence to judge him.

Prison in Peru

To face charges in the United States, the Dutch suspect had to be extradited from Peru, where he was serving a sentence for the murder of another young woman.

A team of FBI agents was in charge of transporting him Thursday from the Peruvian capital to the jail in Birmingham, Alabama, where he awaits trial.

Van der Sloot was behind bars in the South American country for the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman. That crime took place in a hotel in Lima. It just so happens, that he committed this last crime on the same day that -five years earlier- Holloway disappeared.

He was sentenced to 28 years in prison, which he will have to serve again at the end of the criminal proceedings in North America.