(LIMA, Peru) — Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the disappearance of American teen Natalee Holloway, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores in Peru.
Van der Sloot faced up to 30 years in jail if convicted at a trial. It’s not clear how much time he will get as a result of his confession. His hearing was suspended until Friday when he will be sentenced.
Flores, the 21-year-old daughter of a wealthy and influential Peruvian businessman, was found strangled in van der Sloot’s hotel room on May 31, 2010. The two had reportedly met at a Lima casino.
The Dutch national who lived in Aruba fled Peru but was arrested three days later in Chile, which sent him back to Peru.
Van der Sloot reportedly claimed in a confession shortly after the slaying that he’d killed Flores because she found information linking him to Holloway on his computer.
Van der Sloot, 25, appeared in a Lima court last Friday and agreed to make a confession but then asked the court for more time to consider his options.
Van der Sloot had twice previously been arrested for the disappearance of Holloway, a 19-year-old from Alabama who vanished during a celebratory trip to Aruba with her senior class in May 2005.
Van der Sloot maintained that he’d left her on a beach, drunk. That’s the last anyone has seen of her.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Sheena McKenzie, CNN
Sugam Pokharel and Tim Hume, CNN