A Dutchman linked to the 2005 disappearance of an American teenager is in custody in Chile, facing potential murder charges in Peru and extortion charges in the United States.

Joran van der Sloot was detained yesterday after crossing the border from Peru, where authorities say the 22-year-old is the prime suspect in Monday's murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores.

Van der Sloot was arrested twice after Natalee Holloway, a student from Alabama, disappeared on the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba five years ago but was not charged due to insufficient evidence.

He also allegedly tried to collect US$250,000 ($369,588) in exchange for information about Holloway's death in Aruba and the location of her remains. Chile is poised to send him back to Peru.