Colombian intelligence agency DAS challenged a report linking Johan Van der Sloot, a Dutchman arrested Thursday on charges of murdering a 21-year-old Peruvian, with the disappearance of two young girls in Bogota.
A DAS official told W Radio Wednesday morning that their records indicate that Van der Sloot was indeed in Colombia at the time of the disappearances, but that he was merely in transit to his final destination of Lima, Peru, and never left Bogota’s El Dorado airport.
The DAS announcement challenges a previous report from Colombian newspaper El Espacio, which linked Van der Sloot to the case.
According to El Espacio, the Dutchman was in Bogota from May 6 to 14 to play in a poker tournament, and was seen by witnesses in the company of the two missing girls, both “regulars” at the casino where Van der Sloot was allegedly playing.
Van der Sloot, who gained notoriety after becoming the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance in Aruba of American teenager Natalee Holloway, only to be released due to lack of evidence, has admitted to murdering Peruvian Stephany Flores in a Lima hotel on May 30.
Surveillance video captured Van der Sloot entering a hotel room with Flores and leaving without her. Hotel workers found Flores’ battered body a few days later.