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Woman who stabbed man to death during Florida kidnapping was informant in Natalee Holloway case

Posted at 8:56 PM, Mar 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-16 06:40:14-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. —Scripps station WFTS in Tampa has confirmed that John Ludwick, who claimed to have helped Joran van Der Sloot dispose of Natalee Holloway’s body, was stabbed to death by Emily Heistand.

There are multiple videos on YouTube, posted by Gabriel Madrigal, that show Heistand discussing information she obtained from Ludwick on the Holloway case. There is also one video that shows Ludwick discussing her relationship with Heistand and why she likes him.

RELATED: Attempted kidnapper who was fatally stabbed claims he disposed of Natalee Holloway's body

"I don’t have anyone else to hang out with,” Hiestand joked in the video.  

North Port police redacted the victim’s name in the initial incident report citing Florida law. But sources confirm Heistand is the same person that was attacked in front of her North Port home on Wednesday.

The report states that Ludwick was “holding the knife to her neck.” At some point, she begins to “struggle with John over the knife and she was able to get if free from his hand as she opened the passenger door in an attempt to escape.”

During the fight, Heistand stabbed Ludwick in the abdomen.  

According to Gabriel Madrigal, an investigator and contributor on the Oxygen series “The Disappearance of Natalee Holloway,” he used Heistand as an informant to get information from Ludwick about his interactions with Joran van der Sloot.

"Every time he fell in love with a girl he would give her leads or say something,” Madrigal said.

Madrigal said that it was Heistand who first told him that Ludwick told her he got the bones tested in the Oxygen series from his backyard. 

“It was all a setup,” Madrigal said. “I didn’t believe her. Turns out to be true.”

In a video posted on Madrigal’s YouTube channel, he questions Heistand and why she is hanging out with Ludwick. Madrigal is heard saying, “I warned you not to mess with John … What about if he kills you?”  

"Good, please,” Heistand responds. “He doesn’t have the balls to kill anybody, little old John, little old John.” He calls her stupid to which she responds, “I think John’s a good person he just did some stupid (expletive).”

We reached out to Heistand for comment about what happened during the attempted kidnapping. We have not heard back.

The video Madrigal said was recorded in May 2017 ends with Heistand getting into the driver’s seat and driving off with Ludwick.  

Madrigal said he doesn’t believe the version of events given to the North Port police department. He doesn’t think Ludwick’s death is in any way connected to the Holloway case. But, he does think Ludwick’s infatuation with Heistand was the reason why he died.

Police said that Heistand told them “she felt John was stalking her in person and over social media.”

Private Investigator TJ Ward has worked the Hollway case for more than a decade. He doesn’t think Ludwick’s death will have an impact on the case one way or another.

“Is van Der Sloot going to roll over and talk about what he knows or what he shared with John? I doubt it,” Ward said. 

Madrigal said Ludwick’s death won’t hurt any possible new information in Holloway’s case.

“Honestly, I think all the secrets that John had I have them on video. I have confessions that nobody has,” Madrigal said.