Joren Van der Sloot, the 22-year-old Dutch native long suspected of killing Natalee Holloway, was charged today with the murder of Stephany Flores. Now prison officials tell The Daily Beast that he lied about the timing of the crime, that contrary to earlier reports, he wasn't high the night of it — and that he'll be locked in solitary confinement for months to come, "for his own safety."
Van der Sloot is finally, officially, going down. On Friday, he was formally charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the death of 21-year-old Peruvian student Stephany Flores, whom he confessed to killing earlier this week. The Peruvian judge who condemned him to one of Lima's most notorious prisons to await trial added that the murder had been committed with "ferocity and great cruelty."
An extraordinary scene unfolded outside Lima's Palace of Justice as Van der Sloot heard the judge's order. Crowds of indignant onlookers flanked the rear entrance of the imposing colonial building as a decoy van marked "AMBULANCE" stopped outside the door. Van der Sloot, clearly identifiable by his height and close-cropped haircut, was the last of 11 suspects police manhandled into the entrance. Onlookers shouted "murderer!" and threw rotten vegetables at him from behind police lining the gap between the van and the door.
After van der Sloot was loaded back into the van to be transported to Lima's Miguel Castro Castro prison, Police General Cesar Guardia told The Daily Beast that most of what the accused murderer had confessed were blatant lies. "His toxicological report shows no signs that he had ingested any kind of drug," Guardia said, countering van der Sloot's perhaps strategic claim that he was high on marijuana when he killed Flores—in Peru, felony crimes committed under the influence of drugs can be treated with leniency in the courts.
Guardia also told The Daily Beast that van der Sloot lied about the timing of the murder. Earlier in the week, he told investigators that he had gone out to buy coffee for himself and Flores, and killed her when he returned to the room after finding the young woman on his computer. In fact, according to Guardia, hotel surveillance cameras show that van der Sloot faked his early-morning coffee run. Instead, he left the room with two empty paper cups and then summoned a member of the hotel staff to open his door, lying that he had forgotten his key.
This, according to the Peruvian police, underscores the suspect's attempts to cover his tracks. "In terms of the sequence of events which led him to commit this savage act, it's true he has recounted most of what occurred," Guardia told The Daily Beast. "But he admits there are also some parts which he doesn't remember." Guardia added that he thinks van der Sloot confessed "because the evidence against him was so overwhelming, he was obliged to do so."
Lamenting the final moments of the young woman's life, Guardia says he believes that Flores suffered greatly at the young man's hand. "Can you imagine how she could defend herself against a man who is two meters in height and with his physical build?" he asked. "He gave her a ferocious beating and took the life of a young Peruvian. In doing so he has injured the whole country and he will face justice."