(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — An Alabama judge reportedly announced Thursday that he will declare missing Alabama teen Natalee Holloway to be dead. The decision comes six years after her disappearance in Aruba on the last day of a senior class trip to celebrate their high school graduation.
The request for Holloway to be declared dead came from her father Dave Holloway who claimed in the court papers that because there is no evidence Natalee is alive, the time has come to declare her legally dead.
Natalee’s mother opposed the court proceeding.
“Beth’s position is she has no proof or indication that Natalee is still alive, but absent any proof or indication that she is dead, she always wants to hang onto that slight glimmer of hope,” said Beth Holloway’s attorney, John Q. Kelly. “No mother likes to, without evidence, have her daughter declared dead. She wants to carry around her around in her heart.”
The court hearing comes a day after court proceedings in Peru where the main suspect in Holloway’s disappearance, Joran van der Sloot, pleaded guilty to murdering a different woman. Van der Sloot entered the plea Wednesday and is awaiting sentencing by the Peruvian court. He has admitted to killing 21-year-old Stephany Flores, a Peruvian businesswoman, on May 30, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Natalee’s disappearance.
Van der Sloot, a Dutch citizen, was never formally charged with Holloway’s death in Aruba, but was arrested and held for questioning in the matter twice.
Natalee Holloway was on the last day of a graduation trip to Aruba with her senior class at Mountain Brook High School in Alabama when she did not return to her hotel. She was last seen in a car with several people, including Van Der Sloot.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Madeline Holcombe, CNN
Holly Yan and Steve Forrest, CNN
Kristina Sgueglia, CNN