LIMA (Reuters) - A young Dutch man linked to the mysterious disappearance of a young American woman in Aruba has confessed to murdering a female student in Peru, police said on Tuesday.
Colonel Abel Gamarra, a spokesman for Peru’s national police, said Joran Van der Sloot admitted he killed 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a business student whose body was found in a Lima hotel room last week.
“He has confessed that he’s to blame for the death (of Flores) because he was against the wall ... this young man did not have a choice. All the evidence, all the proof pointed toward him,” Gamarra said.
He said Van der Sloot killed Flores after finding her looking at his laptop computer in his hotel room. The laptop contained e-mails about the 2005 death of Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old American from Alabama who vanished during a high school graduation trip to the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba in 2005.
“It seems the girl (Flores) questioned him about the messages and he hit her with his hands,” Gamarra said.
Van der Sloot is the key suspect in the Holloway disappearance and was arrested twice in the case but never charged after giving different stories about her disappearance.
Gamarra said no murder weapon was found and that Van der Sloot probably beat Flores, the daughter of a wealthy Peruvian businessman, to death.
Van der Sloot traveled to Chile after Flores’ death but was arrested there and returned to Peru for questioning.
Peruvian police said Flores was killed on May 30 -- five years to the day after Holloway disappeared.
They say Van der Sloot, a poker aficionado, met Flores at a casino in Lima and then took her to his hotel room in the Miraflores district, where her body was found.
Additional reporting by Enrique Mandujano; Writing by Eduardo Garcia; Editing by Kevin Gray and Bill Trott