Van der Sloot charged with first-degree murder

LIMA, Peru Lima Superior Court Judge Juan Buendia issued the order before dawn Friday, instructing penal authorities to place the 22-year-old in a penitentiary pending trial.

According to police, van der Sloot met 21-year-old /*Stephany Flores*/ while playing poker at a casino on May 30. The two were seen together in surveillance video at the casino and later entering his hotel room.

When they got back to his room, /*van der Sloot*/ strangled her, threw her to the floor and emptied her wallet. Prosecutors say the young Dutchman confessed to killing her because she was using his laptop without his permission.

Meanwhile, van der Sloot remains the lone suspect in the 2005 disappearance in Aruba of /*Natalee Holloway*/, and the chief of Peru's criminal police said he told investigators that he knows the location of the U.S. teen's body.

But a Peruvian police official says he didn't know how seriously to take van der Sloot's claims, given his history of dubious statements. The Dutch citizen also said he would only elaborate on the matter before authorities in Aruba.

Van der Sloot was twice arrested in connection with Holloway's disappearance in 2005, but never charged.

Flores was killed three days after meeting van der Sloot, police say, and five years to the day after Holloway disappeared.

Van der Sloot arrived in Peru on May 14, authorities say, four days after receiving $25,000 as part of an FBI sting aimed at resolving the Holloway case.

He was allegedly seeking $250,000 in exchange for the location of Holloway's body, how she died and the identity of those involved.

He was charged with extortion in the United States on June 2 - the day of his arrest in Chile - in a case commenced after van der Sloot contacted John Kelly, a New York lawyer for Holloway's mother, Beth Twitty, in April, according to an affidavit.

Van der Sloot is currently being held at the infamous Miguel Castro Castro prison, an overcrowded facility notorious for its brutality. Peruvian officials say there will be no plea bargain, and van der Sloot must stand trial.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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