Nearly 18 years after the disappearance of Mountain Brook teen Natalee Holloway, the suspect in her death is being extradited back to the U.S. on charges of extortion and wire fraud.
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 he be brought back to a Jefferson County court.
"At a time when there is increasingly greater cross-border transit of people, our institutions are keeping up to ensure that criminals are brought to justice," Edgar Alfredo Rebaza, director of Peru's Office of International Judicial Cooperation and Extraditions of the National Prosecutor's Office, said in a statement. "We will continue to collaborate on legal issues with allies such as the United States, and many others with which we have extradition treaties."
Prosecutors confirmed the new charges are in connection to the Holloway case. They contend van der Sloot took $25,000 from Holloway's family in exchange for information leading to her body.
Holloway was on a senior trip to Aruba when she disappeared. 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., he will be sent back to Peru.
Wednesday, the day the announcement was made, would have been Natalee Holloway's 36th birthday.
"It has been a very long and painful journey, but the persistence of many is going to pay off," Natalee Holloway's mother, Beth, told Fox News. "Together, we are finally getting justice for Natalee."
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