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Suspect in Holloway disappearance to appear in federal court for extortion case; plea deal possible

Suspect in Holloway disappearance to appear in federal court for extortion case; plea deal possible

An attorney for the mother of an Alabama teen who disappeared in Aruba said that a possible plea deal with a suspect in an extortion case is contingent upon his disclosing details about her death

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An attorney for the mother of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway, who disappeared in Aruba, said a possible plea deal with a suspect in an extortion case is contingent upon his disclosing details about her death.

Joran van der Sloot, long considered the chief suspect in Holloway's 2005 disappearance, is scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday morning in Birmingham, Alabama, for a plea and sentencing hearing for a case in which he is accused of trying to extort $250,000 from Holloway's mother in 2010 to reveal the location of her body.

John Q. Kelly, an attorney who represented Holloway's mother during the alleged extortion, told The Associated Press Tuesday that a potential plea deal is contingent upon him revealing information about what happened to Holloway. Kelly first made the comments on NBC's “Today” show. Emails sent to van der Sloot’s attorney and a spokeswoman for federal prosecutors were not immediately returned.

Holloway's family has long sought answers about her disappearance. But those answers have proven elusive. Van der Sloot has given a variety of conflicting descriptions over the years about what happened, which would likely put raised scrutiny on any new account. Her family is expected to be in court Wednesday.