Eighteen years after the disappearance of Mountain Brook teen Natalee Holloway, the suspect in her death has been extradited to Alabama to face charges in connection to the case.

Joran van der Sloot has been serving a 28-year sentence in a Peruvian prison for the unrelated murder of Stephany Flores. Peru's government issued an executive order Wednesday ordering him to be brought back to a Jefferson County court on charges of extortion and wire fraud.

Prosecutors contend van der Sloot took $25,000 from Holloway's family in exchange for information leading to her body.

Holloway’s mother, Beth Holloway, said she was “overcome with mixed emotions” after a plane carrying van der Sloot landed at the Shuttlesworth Airport around 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

“As a mother who has tirelessly pursued justice for the abduction and murder of my precious daughter, I stand before you today with a heart both heavy with sorrow and yet lifted by a glimmer of hope,” she said in a written statement. “For 18 years, I have lived with the unbearable pain of Natalee’s loss. Each day has been filled with unanswered questions and a longing for justice that has eluded us at every turn. But today ... I am hopeful that some small semblance of justice may finally be realized.”

Natalee Holloway was on a senior trip to Aruba when she disappeared on May 30, 2005. She has since been declared dead, but the body of the 18-year-old was never found.

The extradition will be temporary. After going to court in the U.S., van der Sloot will be sent back to Peru.

His attorneys previously said he was happy to be taken to a U.S. jail because the Peru prison conditions are so horrific.

The time that van der Sloot ends up spending in the U.S. “will be extended until the conclusion of the criminal proceedings,” including the appeal process, should there be one, according to a resolution published in Peru’s federal register. The resolution also states that U.S. authorities agree to return van der Sloot to the custody of Peru afterward.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email erica.thomas@1819news.com.

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