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Dutchman arrested for slaying in Peru

Peruvian police in early June continued to question Joran Van der Sloot, who allegedly confessed to killing a 21-year-old business student in his Lima hotel room May 30.

Stephany Flores died five years after U.S. teen Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba. Van der Sloot is a prime suspect in that case as well.

Worldwide attention has been focused on the Flores killing, but much of it has involved speculation over whether Van der Sloot’s arrest will lead to a re-examination of the Holloway case. Not widely reported are details about the life of Flores, who apparently was openly lesbian.

“Good Morning America” (“GMA”) did an interview with Stephanie Jimenez of Miami, who said she was Flores’ ex-girlfriend.

Jimenez said Flores liked the casino atmosphere, but that she knew to be afraid of strangers she met in such settings.

“She was afraid of something like this happening,” Jimenez told “GMA.”

Flores, the daughter of a Peruvian circus impresario and former racecar driver, was found beaten, possibly with a tennis racket, and her neck broken, in Van der Sloot’s hotel room. Police said the two met playing poker at a casino.

Video from hotel security cameras shows Flores and Van der Sloot entering Van der Sloot’s room together at about 5 a.m. May 30 and Van der Sloot leaving alone four hours later with his bags. Police say Van der Sloot also left the hotel briefly at 8:10 a.m. May 30 and returned with two cups of coffee and bread purchased across the street at a supermarket.

Several Peruvian media outlets reported, without identifying their sources, that Van der Sloot admitted to killing Flores in a rage after learning she looked up information about his past on his laptop without permission.

The newspaper La Republica said Van der Sloot tearfully confessed, in the presence of a prosecutor and a state-appointed attorney, to grabbing Flores by the neck and hitting her because she had viewed images about the Aruba case on his computer.

Meanwhile, the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant quoted the suspect’s lawyer in the Netherlands as suggesting the confession may have been coerced.

“Joran told his mother crying … that he was being interrogated under reasonably barbaric conditions,” the paper quoted Bert De Rooij saying. “He said the police were trying to force him to confess.”

– AP and WiG

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