On the five-year anniversary of Holloway’s [likely] death, Stephany Flores Ramirez, a 21-year-old, was bludgeoned in a hotel room in Lima, Peru. A week after Ramirez’s murder, van der Sloot confessed to the crime, and subsequently retracted his confession.
[Two days after her murder] on 2 June , a hotel employee found her beaten body in Room 309, which had been registered in van der Sloot’s name. He had departed from the hotel without returning the room key and left the television running. A tennis racquet, identified by the coroner as a possible homicide weapon, was recovered from the room. A hotel guest and an employee came forward to say they saw van der Sloot and the victim entering the hotel room together, and the police obtained video of the two playing cards at the same table the night before at the Atlantic City Casino in Lima. Van der Sloot [a gambler] had entered Peru via Colombia on 14 May 2010 to attend the Latin American Poker Tour.
So…did the fact that Ramirez was found dead in van der Sloot’s hotel room suggest in any way that van der Sloot may have been involved? Of course it fucking did!
Flores Ramírez was a business student less than a year from graduation at the University of Lima. She was the daughter of Ricardo Flores, a former president of the Peruvian Automobile Club and winner of the “Caminos del Inca” rally in 1991. A prominent businessman and entertainment organizer, he ran for vice president in 2001 and for president five years later on fringe tickets.
In other words, he was a big deal, and he was wealthy.
Flores said that police found date rape drugs in his daughter’s car, parked about 50 blocks from the hotel where she died. Her jewelry, money, ID and credit cards were missing, including about $1,000 her father had given her to purchase a laptop, and over $10,000 she had won earlier at the casino. Stephany reportedly kept this money in her car, but a police search found no money in it.
What was van der Sloot – a gambler’s – motive? Was it sex? Was that why he murdered Holloway? Or was it something else? Holloway’s stepfather [Beth Twitty’s second husband] was a prominent Alabama businessman. Why target Natalee as opposed to the other 124 students and seven chaperones that were visiting Aruba then? One possibility could be the clothing and jewelry the teenager sported may have attracted a greedy predator. Accounts from friends also suggested Holloway was drunk when she left the bar, Carlos n Charlies, provoking perhaps a similar circumstance and fate for the American as befell Birna Brjansdottir, the recently murdered 20 year old Icelandic sales assistant*.
If surveillance footage was mysteriously missing in the Aruba case, no such luck for van der Sloot in Peru five years later.
After Flores Ramírez’s family reported her missing, police retrieved the hotel surveillance tape and obtained van der Sloot’s name and national identification number. Her brother’s wife discovered van der Sloot’s background in a Google search about an hour before her body was found.
Peruvian officials named Van der Sloot as the lone suspect in the homicide investigation… On 3 June, Van der Sloot was arrested near Curacaví by the Investigations Police of Chile while traveling in a rented taxi on Highway 68 between the coastal city of Viña del Mar and the capital Santiago. He was found with a laptop, foreign currency, a business card case, detailed charts of ocean currents around Lima, and bloody clothes. His phone’s SIM card was missing, which made mobile phone tracking of his location impossible. He told Chilean police that unidentified armed robbers hid in the hotel room and killed Flores Ramírez when she disobeyed their order to be quiet.
This was van der Sloot’s “intruder narrative.” Unfortunately for van der Sloot, the hotel’s surveillance footage left little room to dodge.
Surveillance video from the Atlantic City Casino recorded Flores Ramírez winning $10,000 at a baccarat table area on 25 May 2010, while accompanied by a male friend who was not Van der Sloot. According to casino spokesperson Luis Laos, she also won $237 playing poker on 29 May and it was common for people to know the identities of big winners. Laos stated that van der Sloot did not win any money that night. At 3:00 a.m. on 30 May, Flores Ramírez was recorded entering the casino alone and walking to a poker table where Van der Sloot was sitting. Van der Sloot had not registered for the Latin American Poker Tour. The deadline to pay the $2,700 entry fee for the 2 June event at the casino was 30 May.
Without knowing it, Flores Ramirez had wandered into a psychological labyrinth. On the fifth anniversary of Holloway’s death/disappearance [if van der Sloot was guilty he must have seen it as a feather in his cap on that night of all nights]. Desperate to enter the Poker Tour but down on his luck, van der Sloot was trying to gamble up the entry fee. Flores Ramirez presented herself and perhaps her reputation preceded her, or she confided in van der Sloot directly, thus sealing her fate.
Police released hotel security video showing Van der Sloot and Flores Ramírez entering the Hotel TAC together at about 5:00 a.m. on 30 May. At about 8:10 a.m., [van der Sloot] is shown walking across the street to a supermarket and returning with bread and two cups of coffee. Around 8:45 a.m., he is seen leaving the hotel alone with his bags.
An autopsy ruled that Flores Ramírez did not have sexual intercourse before her death and that she was not under the influence of enough alcohol to prevent her from resisting an attack. She suffered blunt force trauma to her head, causing a brain hemorrhage, cranial fracture, and breaking her neck. She also suffered significant injuries to her face and showed signs of asphyxiation, according to court documents.
*Birna Brjansdottir was murdered by two sailors from Greenland.