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Van der Sloot Cops Say He Ditched Cell Phone's SIM Card on the Run

Joran van der Sloot and Stephany Flores (CBS/AP)
Joran van der Sloot and Stephany Flores (CBS/AP)

NEW YORK (CBS) Peru police told 48 Hours | Mystery that they believe Joran van der Sloot, the man accused of killing Peruvian student Stephany Flores, disposed of the SIM card in his cell phone before he was apprehended.

PICTURES: Van der Sloot Hotel Room Crime Scene

After van der Sloot was caught in Chile, cops confiscated his cell phone. Police later found that the SIM card had been removed.

Why would van der Sloot ditch his SIM card?

According to 23-year NYPD veteran Vinny Marra, investigators can use cell phones to pinpoint the exact location of the phone, and so, the person carrying it.

But in order to do so, the cell phone must be in working condition.

Without the SIM in the phone, investigators could not use this tactic to track van der Sloot's location while he was fleeing Peru after allegedly committing the murder.

According to police, van der Sloot met Flores at a casino. Hotel security surveillance video showed Flores and  van der Sloot entering his hotel room together at around 5 a.m. Sunday May 30. It then shows him leaving alone four hours later with his bags.

Flores was later found dead in van der Sloot's hotel room. Flores' death occurred exactly five years after Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway disappeared in Aruba, in which van der Sloot remains the main suspect.

Van der Sloot confessed to fatally beating, strangling and suffocating Flores in the hotel room, according to transcripts of his signed confession, which he has since recanted.

Explicit crime scene photos were previously obtained exclusively by 48 Hours | Mystery from sources close to the investigation and published exclusively byCrimesider. They show a severely beaten Flores, her body badly bruised, her clothes stained with blood.