Two brothers who unknowingly helped Joran van der Sloot flee the murder of a Peruvian woman by driving him into Chile recalled the hours-long ride with van der Sloot, who has long been suspected by Natalee Holloway’s mother of being responsible for her 2005 disappearance in Aruba.
Williams and Oswaldo Aparcana, both of whom are taxi drivers in Peru, told “20/20” in an exclusive interview that van der Sloot had been rushing them as they drove him overnight to the city of Tacna, near the Peru-Chile border, in 2010.
“He would always ask, ‘Where are we? How long do we have?’” said Oswaldo Aparcana, adding that “because he was in a hurry, he didn’t want us to stop.”
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Unbeknownst to the brothers, van der Sloot had beaten Stephany Flores to death on May 30, 2010, exactly five years to the day after 18-year-old Holloway, who was from Alabama, went missing while celebrating her high school graduation in Aruba.
Van der Sloot killed Flores — a university student and daughter to a former presidential candidate — at Hotel TAC in Lima, Peru. Her body was found three days later in a room that van der Sloot had rented, and all clues pointed to his being the killer, including fingerprints, items presumed to contain his DNA and surveillance footage that showed the two of them together.
However, by the time Flores’ body was discovered, van der Sloot had already fled. He became the subject of an international manhunt as Interpol issued an international arrest warrant.
By nighttime on the day that van der Sloot had killed Flores, he had already made it about 190 miles south of Lima to Ica, where he first came across Williams Aparcana, who said van der Sloot asked to be driven further south, about 89 miles to Nazca, a popular tourist town in Peru.
“It was around 9 p.m. He says to me, ‘I’ll pay for the whole car. Can you take me?’” Williams Aparcana told “20/20.”
After Aparcana told van der Sloot that it would cost $100, he said van der Sloot agreed to the fee, but said, “Let’s go now. I am in a rush.”
Williams Aparcana said he began talking to van der Sloot on the way down.
“I started asking him questions,” Williams Aparcana said. “He said he was from Holland, that he came here for a visit with some friends and that he wanted to go to Nazca because he was going to meet his friends there.”
The roughly two-hour drive ended without a hitch; Williams Aparcana said he dropped van der Sloot off at the city’s bus station and that he was paid the $100. But then he said van der Sloot returned 30 minutes later.
Williams Aparcana said van der Sloot told him that his friends had left and asked the driver to take him further south to Tacna, near the Peru-Chile border — a 10-hour drive. Aparcana connected with his brother, Oswaldo Aparcana, who is also a taxi driver, and discussed whether or not to take the offer.
Lisa Pulitzer and Cole Thompson, authors of “Portrait of a Monster,” which is about van der Sloot, said he offered the brothers about $500 to take him. After discussing the trip among themselves, the brothers agreed to take van der Sloot to Tacna in Oswaldo Aparcana’s minivan, Pulitzer said.
“Joran was offering them…basically, a month's salary for a one-day drive,” Pulitzer said. “That would be incentive enough to agree to this journey.”
Williams Aparcana told "20/20" they left Nazca around 1 a.m. and they drove through the night.
The drivers arrived in Tacna at around 10 a.m., Williams Aparcana said. But there was an issue with the brothers’ payment for the trip.
“[Van der Sloot] went to a bank and he said that there was no way to take his money out,” Willliams Aparcana said.
The bank card, van der Sloot told the brothers, could only work at ATMs on the other side of the border. He then asked them to drive him to Chile and assured them he would pay them upon their arrival, Thompson said. This ultimately was a trick and Joran van der Sloot didn’t end up paying the brothers the agreed amount. He offered to wire it to them in the future and handed over some of his belongings, such as his watch, in the meantime.
Although van der Sloot eventually made it into Chile, it wasn’t long before a tip led to his being captured, arrested and brought back to Lima to face charges for Flores’ murder. On the day of his arrest, U.S. federal prosecutors announced a criminal complaint against van der Sloot on wire fraud and extortion charges for allegedly soliciting $250,000 from Natalee Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway, in exchange for information on the location of her daughter’s remains and the circumstances of her death. Nearly a month later, he was indicted by a grand jury for these charges.
Back in Peru, van der Sloot admitted to beating Flores, taking her money and then fleeing with her belongings, according to the lead homicide detective who interrogated him.
While he awaited trial for Flores' murder in prison, van der Sloot was visited by Beth Holloway — an encounter that was filmed by Dutch journalist Peter de Vries. It was the second time she had spoken to him since her daughter went missing, and she said it was "glorious" to see him behind bars.
“Is this the justice I wanted? No. But it’s the justice I’ll take,” she said.
In 2012, van der Sloot pleaded guilty to Flores' murder and was given 28 years behind bars -- a sentence he is currently serving in Peru’s prison system. Two years later, in March 2014, it was announced that van der Sloot will be extradited to the U.S. after he finishes his sentence in Peru.
One day before van der Sloot was sentenced to prison in Peru, an Alabama judge declared Natalee Holloway legally dead — a move that her father, Dave Holloway had asked for despite opposition from Beth Holloway.
Almost 15 years after she went missing, Natalee Holloway still hasn’t been found and no one knows for sure what happened to her. She was last seen leaving a bar called Carlos’n Charlie’s in Oranjestad, Aruba, with van der Sloot, who has never been charged in connection to her disappearance. In a 2006 interview with ABC News, van der Sloot denied that he had harmed or killed Natalee Holloway.
Aruban prosecutor Hans Klaver told ABC News recently that his office has never closed the Natalee Holloway case.
However, he said the case against van der Sloot has “been dismissed,” adding that “only new facts and circumstances unknown at the moment of the dismissal can lead to reopening” his case.
ABC News brought Beth Holloway back to Aruba this past summer. It was her first extensive trip in nearly a decade. “20/20” documented the trip exclusively, during which Beth Holloway revisited areas where she had searched for her daughter and reunited with a local man whom she had hired to help with the search.
“Every time I looked out at the ocean, I couldn’t handle it,” Beth Holloway recalled. “It just disturbed me greatly because it made me feel as if I was never going to get an answer as to what happened to Natalee.”
“You’re never going to get over the...loss of losing your loved one,” she added. “But life does move on. Natalee would want us to enjoy what life we have left.”