Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Public safety

Florida man who said he helped bury Natalee Holloway dies in failed kidnapping

In Charlotte County, a kidnapper who ended up being fatally stabbed by his target on Wednesday has ties to the disappearance 13 years ago of Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, according to North Port police.

The man who died, John Christopher Ludwick, 32, of Port Charlotte, once claimed to help bury the remains of Holloway after she disappeared in Aruba in 2005, police said.

Wednesday’s incident took place along the 4300 block of Wesley Lane, police said. A woman, who was not identified by North Port police, was exiting her driveway when Ludwick attempted to kidnap her.

The woman fought back, police said, and in the ensuing struggle Ludwick suffered a stab wound.

He ran away and was found wounded nearby. He was flown to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Holloway was on a high school graduation trip to Aruba in 2005 when she disappeared, last seen in a car with three men, including Joran Van der Sloot.

The Dutch man became the prime suspect in Holloway’s disappearance and is now serving a prison sentence for an unrelated murder. Holloway, 18 at the time, was declared legally dead in 2012.

Ludwick is a friend of Van der Sloot. In November, he appeared in the Oxygen series "The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway," and claimed Van der Sloot paid him $1,500 to dig up Holloway’s body.

North Port police said they are aware of his past comments about the Holloway case and have informed the "authorities who are working that case."

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