"Beth Holloway extends her deepest sympathy to the family of Stephany Flores Ramirez and prays for swift and sure justice," a family spokesperson said Thursday, the same day Joran Van der Sloot was arrested after being named the prime suspect in Ramirez's murder.
"She is also very grateful for the outpouring of prayers and support for Natalee and her family," adds the spokesperson.
Van der Sloot, 23, faced even more legal trouble Thursday. An arrest warrant was issued for the Dutch national, U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said at a news conference, charging him with extortion and wire fraud.
Van der Sloot, a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney in Birmingham alleges, was seeking $250,000 from an unnamed person in Alabama in exchange for information about Natalee's body and the circumstances behind her death.
Van der Sloot was arrested twice and released in the Holloway case. He apparently confessed to the 2005 crime to a friend on a video released in February 2008, but he later said he had lied during the secret recording.
Reporting by JEFF TRUESDELL