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Joran van der Sloot awaits extradition to Peru

Chilean police are holding Joran van der Sloot in a jail in Santigago, Chile, until they get orders to expel - or extradite - him to Peru. He's the prime suspect in the death of a college student in Lima, Peru.

Chile's investigative police officers escort Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot, center, to a jail in Santiago, Thursday. Peruvian police were seeking van der Sloot in connection with the May 30 killing of 21-year-old Stephany Flores at a Lima hotel.

Roberto Candia/AP

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Joran Van der Sloot, wanted for questioning in the murder of a Peruvian woman, will remain in Chilean police custody, pending an order of extradition to Peru or expulsion from Chile, police here said on Thursday.

The Dutchman walked uncuffed, wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt and close-cropped hair, into the international police headquarters in Santiago, followed later by a representative from the Dutch embassy.

Mr. van der Sloot - once a suspect in the 2005 disappearance in Aruba of US teen Natalee Holloway - is the main suspect in in the killing of 21-year-old Stephany Flores Ramírez, found dead in a Lima, Peru, hotel room Wednesday.

The Dutchman was captured at 12:30 pm Thursday at a Curacaví toll booth on highway 68 en route to the capitol Santiago from the coastal resort town of Viña del Mar.

On May 31, Interpol Lima requested that Chilean police apprehend van der Sloot, the same day Van der Sloot entered the country at the Chile-Peru border.

The focus of a Chilean international manhunt had focused in the northern desert provinces where it was believed van der Sloot was attempting to flee to Argentina or Bolivia.

In Lima, Peru, police General Cesar Guardi said Ramírez's body was found Wednesday in Room 309 of the Hotel Tac. The room was registered in van der Sloot's name. He had been in Lima participating in a poker tournament.

""We have convincing incriminating evidence," Guardia said at a news conference. "We have testimony from a hotel employee who saw the victim accompany [van der Sloot] to his room...at 5 in the morning [on Sunday]. Approximately four hours later he left the hotel."

Flores Ramírez is the daughter of former presidential candidate and prominent local businessman Ricardo Flores.

A lawyer for van der Sloot in New York, Joe Tacopina, told the Associated Press that he did not know his client's whereabouts and had not been in touch with him since the Peru allegations emerged. Mr. Tacopina cautioned against a rush to judgment.

"Joran van der Sloot has been falsely accused of murder once before. The fact is he wears a bull's-eye on his back now and he is a quote-unquote usual suspect when it comes to allegations of foul play," Tacopina said.

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