FBI officials yesterday denied they bungled a case against Joran Van der Sloot after paying him up to $25,000, which he apparently used to travel to Peru where he murdered a young woman. Investigators set up an extortion sting for Van der Sloot last month after he reportedly demanded cash from Natalee Holloway's mom in exchange for information about her daughter's remains in Aruba, where he remains a prime suspect in the teen's disappearance. Officials issued an arrest warrant on extortion charges against him shortly after Van der Sloot admitted killing Stephany Flores Ramirez, 21, in his hotel room, notes ABC News.
"The Birmingham investigation was not related to the murder in Peru," said an FBI statement. "Despite having been in motion for several weeks at the time of Miss Flores' death, it was not sufficiently developed to bring charges prior to the time van der Sloot left Aruba." Officials also said cash paid to Van der Sloot came from "private funds," contradicting reports that the fee came from the FBI. CNN reported earlier yesterday that the money—$10,00 in cash and $15,000 paid to Van der Sloot's Dutch bank account—was provided by Natalee's mom, Beth Twitty Holloway.