The prime suspect in Natalie Holloway’s disappearance is divorcing his wife and daughter’s mother to find a “prettier and younger” girlfriend who is accused of smuggling him drugs in prison, his lawyer has told DailyMail.com.
After pushing his family aside, Joran van der Sloot now wants to be extradited to the US to clear his name over allegations surrounding Natalee’s unsolved murder, his lawyer Maximo Altez said.
The explosive revelations come after the convicted killer, who is currently being held in a maximum-security prison in Peru for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, initially appealed the extradition order.
Van der Sloot, 35, married accountant Leidy Figueroa, 33, in a private ceremony at Piedras Gordas prison in July 2014 when Leidy was seven months pregnant with their daughter.
Just months after tying the knot, she gave DailyMail.com a gushing interview in which she claimed her new husband is “gentle, sensitive, kind” and “not a monster.”
Joran van der Sloot, the suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, is divorcing his wife Leidy Figueroa (pictured here in 2014), to whom he was married for nearly nine years, his lawyer has said
Van der Sloot filed for divorce about a year ago because he was now dating a “prettier and younger” woman
His new girlfriend is Eva Pacohuanaco, who has been accused of smuggling drugs into his prison in Peru
The pair met while Leidy was selling candy and cigarettes to inmates at another of van der Sloot’s former prisons — Miguel Castro Castro in Lima.
The lax prison rules meant that Leidy began visiting him twice a week, and the pair exchanged a flurry of sugary love letters.
They even named their daughter Dusha Trudie Van der Sloot, 8, after Van der Sloot’s grandmother, Trudie.
But their unlikely romance began to crumble in 2020 after van der Sloot was accused of bringing drugs to prison with a friend, Eva Pacohuanaco, Altez said.
“Leidy continued to see him for a while,” the attorney added. “Joran had a lot of girlfriends…many girls came to visit him…but Leidy was the most loyal.”
Despite his infidelity, it was van der Sloot who filed for divorce about a year ago because, according to Altez, he was now in a relationship with the “prettier and younger” Pacohuanaco.
Due to tighter security at his current Challapalca prison in Puno, Peru, the killer now has fewer female visitors, but he “still writes to girls and they send him pictures,” Altez added.
The attorney said Leidy “still comes to visit” as she “likes the punishment” and is “nothing without” her husband, who helps her financially through family funds.
Van der Sloot’s father, Paul, was a law enforcement officer on the Caribbean island of Aruba, where Natalee disappeared on a school field trip. He was also arrested in connection with the case and released without charge. Paul died in 2010.
Pacohuanaco, pictured here in surveillance footage allegedly showing her smuggling drugs to her lover in a Peruvian prison in 2020
Natalee disappeared from the Caribbean island of Aruba during a school field trip in 2005
Van der Sloot’s lawyer also announced that he now wants to be extradited to the US to face charges related to Natalee’s disappearance. He is currently in a prison in Peru
His wife and mother of their eight-year-old daughter became furious when she was told her husband was filing for divorce, van der Sloot’s lawyer said
Leidy previously gave DailyMail.com a gushing interview in which she told her killer husband was “gentle” and “not a monster”.
Altez said Figueroa got angry when he told her van der Sloot was filing for divorce.
“She asked me, ‘How could you?!’ You were the godfather of our marriage. She got angry. And she’s partly right.’
Altez also announced that his client had made a U-turn on his extradition after initially asking him to appeal.
The federal charges against van der Sloot stem from allegations that he tried to blackmail Natalee’s mother, Beth Holloway, by promising her in 2010 that he would lead her to her daughter’s body in exchange for $250,000.
A grand jury that year indicted him for wire fraud and racketeering, each of which carries up to 20 years in prison.
“Joran wants to go to the US to prove that he didn’t ask Ms. Holloway for money,” Altez said. “He realized he could be acquitted of the charges.”
Van der Sloot’s decision to abandon his wife and family goes against the promises he made to Leidy before their marriage.
In a love letter seen by DailyMail.com, the killer hints he intended to raise enough money to buy his young bride a house – although his release from his current sentence is not due until 2038.
He wrote, “While we’re saving money, in a few years I’ll buy you your own house, actually our house.”
Natalee’s mother Beth (right) recently welcomed the news that van der Sloot is facing extradition to the US, saying the family will “finally get justice for Natalie”.
Love Letters: Van der Sloot wooed Leidy with many sweet notes, which he wrote in Spanish while in prison
Van der Sloot was convicted of the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores (pictured)
Instead, he has reached out to Pacohuanaco, who has been accused of helping him smuggle nearly 300 grams of cocaine and 140 grams of marijuana to another prison in Juliaca, according to reports from Peru.
It earned the Dutchman an additional seven years to his sentence for the Flores murder.
Van der Sloot claims he did not kill Natalee Holloway, who was 18 when she disappeared from Aruba while visiting the island with a large group of friends celebrating their high school graduation.
She disappeared after leaving a nightclub with van der Sloot and two of his friends, Satish and Deepak Kalpoe, on the last night of the trip.
All three were arrested but the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.
In 2010, van der Sloot was arrested in Peru for the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, five years to the day after Holloway’s disappearance.
Peruvian prosecutors accused van der Sloot of killing Flores, an economics student from a prominent family, in order to rob her after learning she had won money at the casino where the two met.
They said he killed her with “cruelty” and “cruelty,” beat her in his hotel room, and then strangled her. He pleaded guilty in 2012.
How long it takes for Van der Sloot to be extradited will depend on a number of factors, including arranging transport to fly him to the US and an agreement by the US that he be brought back to Peru to serve his sentence to serve.
After a trial in the US, van der Sloot was due to be returned to Peru to serve his sentence on the murder of Flores and another charge of drug trafficking in prison.
Leidy declined to comment.