The networks are going into the archives today with the news that Joran van der Sloot, twice arrested and cleared in the disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, is a suspect in the death of a woman in Peru.
21-year-old Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramirez disappeared Friday and was found dead this morning in a hotel room in Lima that was in van der Sloot’s name.
Natalee Holloway went missing five years ago this week while on vacation with friends in Aruba. The story — Holloway’s disappearance, the search, her family’s pleas for help, the investigation of van der Sloot and his friends, the Aruba legal system, and van der Sloot’s back-and-forth between detention and freedom — became cable news fodder during the summer of 2005.
Fox News Channel’s Greta Van Susteren, a lawyer by trade, took the lead on the coverage, as did CNN’s Anderson Copper. But the broadcasters weren’t far behind, including ABC’s “20/20″ and NBC’s “Dateline” which produced hours of special coverage on the Holloway story.
In 2008 ABC News purchased video shot by Patrick van der Eem, who had befriended van der Sloot, but who was secretly working undercover for a Dutch TV producer. In the video van der Sloot said, “I know what happened to that girl” and “she’ll never be found.”
Flores Ramirez and van der Sloot were seen entering the hotel at 5 a.m. Sunday — five years to the day that Holloway disappeared. Immigration officials believe van der Sloot fled to Chile on Monday.
• Here’s a question: which, if any, of the broadcast networks will report on the arrest on their evening newscasts?