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Natalee Holloway Could Be Declared Dead By Judge


First Posted: 01/12/12 11:21 AM ET Updated: 01/12/12 11:32 AM ET

An Alabama judge will decide on Thursday whether to declare Natalee Holloway dead. The decision will come just one day after Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in her disappearance, pleaded guilty to murdering a young woman in Peru.

Probate Judge Alan King will make his decision on whether to sign the court order during a 2:30 p.m. hearing in Birmingham. In September, King ruled that Holloway's father, Dave Holloway, had met the legal presumption of death for his daughter. The decision was delayed to allow interested parties sufficient time to prove that Natalee Holloway was still alive. The father's attorney, Mark White, told the Associated Press Thursday that no new evidence has emerged.

Natalee's mother, Beth Holloway, is opposed to the petition brought by her ex-husband, according to her attorney, John Q. Kelly. However, while Dave Holloway attended the previous court hearing, his ex-wife was notably absent.

The couple divorced in 1993. Their daughter was 18 years old when she disappeared on May 30, 2005, while on a trip to Aruba to celebrate her high school graduation. Her body has never been found. The case received international media attention and has inspired several books and movies.

Dave Holloway's attorney, Karen Hennecy, said her client wants his daughter declared dead so that his family can have closure.

The court documents, which say Natalee Holloway's possessions are worth less than $500, also name Joran van der Sloot as the "primary suspect" in her disappearance.

On Wednesday, van der Sloot pleaded guilty in the May 30, 2010, slaying of Stephany Flores. The Peruvian business student was found dead in van der Sloot's hotel room in Lima on June 2 of that year. Van der Sloot was charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the case.

Despite her apparent opposition to declaring her daughter dead, Beth Holloway did admit last year that she does not think Natalee is still alive. The brutal killing of Flores changed her mind, she said.

"[When] I discovered [the] ferocity in which he murdered Stephany Flores, that put it in perspective for me as to what transpired with Natalee," Holloway said during a May 10 appearance on CBS' "The Early Show."

NATALEE HOLLOWAY CASE PHOTOS

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  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot attends the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Judges Victoria Montoya, center, Otilia Vargas, left, and Pilar Carbonel speak before the continuation of Joran van der Sloot's trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Men protest against Joran van der Sloot outside San Pedro prison where his murder trial is held in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. The sign at center reads in Spanish "Dutch assassin." (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, left, enters the courtroom for the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, Jan. 11, 2012. The Dutch citizen pleaded guilty to in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores on May 30, 2010. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Police officers escort Joran Van der Sloot, second right, during a press conference at a police station in Lima, on June 5, 2010. The young Dutchman wanted in the murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, and who also remains the lone suspect in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalee Holloway, arrived in Peru's capital to face justice, after being handed over by Chilean police at the two countries' border. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, center, enters the courtroom for the start of his murder trial held at the San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 6, 2012. Van der Sloot, 24, stands trial Friday for the 2010 murder of the 21-year-old Stephany Flores, of Peru, nearly seven years after he became the prime suspect in the unsolved disappearance of an American teenager on holiday in Aruba. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, front right, sits in court for the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, Jan. 11, 2012. The Dutch citizen pleaded guilty to in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores on May 30, 2010. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot sits in the courtroom as he waits for the continuation of his murder trial to start at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot was charged with killing and robbing Stephany Flores, a woman he met while gambling at a Peruvian casino. Flores was killed on May 30, 2010 -- exactly five years after Natalee Holloway vanished in Aruba. Van der Sloot has been linked, but never charged to her disappearance. (Domingo al Dia, America Television Channel / AP)

  • Stephany Flores

    Stephany Flores in an undated photo from Peru's National Identitfication Registry. Her dead body was found June 2, 2010 in Joran van der Sloot's hotel room. (Registro Nacional de Identificacion y Estado Civil / AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Ricardo Flores, father of slain Stephany Flores, arrives to San Jorge prison for the trial of Joran Van der Sloot in the Lurigancho area of Lima, Peru, on Jan. 6, 2012. Van der Sloot, 24, stands trial for the 2010 murder of the 21-year-old Flores, of Peru, nearly seven years after he became the prime suspect in the unsolved disappearance of an American teenager on holiday in Aruba. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    This image from security footage provided by the Lima police alledgedly shows Joran van der Sloot, left, and Stephany Flores as they enter his hotel room May 30, 2010. (Lima Police Handout / AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    This image from security footage provided by the Lima police alledgedly shows Joran van der Sloot, as he leaves his hotel room May 30, 2010 -- the day Stefany Flores was allegedly killed in his hotel room. (Lima Police Handout / AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    A shaman performs a ritual for the spiritual punishment of Joran van der Sloot, whose picture is posted on the wall, before van der Sloot's trial outside San Pedro prison. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Posters of Joran van der Sloot, right, and Stepahny Flores, left, sit among items from a shaman ritual outside San Pedro prison to punish the Dutchman's spirit. Van der Sloot, 24, is charged with killing 21-year-old Flores in his Lima hotel room on May 30, 2010, after the two left a casino together in the day's wee hours. The poster of Flores reads in Spanish "Stephany Flores asks for justice" and the poster of Van der Sloot reads "Spiritual punishment." (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Chilean authorities escort Joran van der Sloot, center, in Santiago, Chile on June 4, 2010. The Dutch man was detained after crossing the border from Peru, where authorities said he killed Stephany Flores. Van der Sloot was previously arrested in the 2005 disappearance of U.S. teen Natalie Holloway, but later released by Dutch authorities. (Aliosha Marquez, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Police show a photo of Joran van der Sloot at a news conference in Lima, on June 2, 2010. (AP)

  • Peruvian Newspapers

    A man displays Peruvian newspapers with front pages allusive to the murder of 21-year-old Peruvian Stephany Flores in Lima. (Cris Bouroncle, AFP / Getty Images)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    In this Dec. 7, 2007 photo, Joran van der Sloot, right, sits in a car with his father, Paulus Van Der Sloot, after Joran was released from custody near Oranjestad, Aruba. For all his garrulous charm, Joran van der Sloot didn't do himself any favors in his online interactions, where his generation tends to reveal a lot about itself. (Pedro Famous Diaz, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    In this Sept. 6, 2005 photo, eighteen-year-old Joran van der Sloot, a resident of Aruba who had been held by police on the Caribbean island in connection with the disappearance of American tourist Natalee Holloway, exits Schiphol airport accompanied by unidentified relatives in Amsterdam, Netherlands. For all his garrulous charm, Joran van der Sloot didn't do himself any favors in his online interactions, where his generation tends to reveal a lot about itself. (Peter Dejong, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, center, the Dutch teen detained in connection with the disappearance of Alabama high school graduate Natalee Holloway on May 30, arrives to the hospital for DNA tests in Oranjestad, Aruba, on July 20, 2005. Investigators said that they planned to conduct DNA tests on blond hair attached to duct tape that was found along the coast to see if it came from Holloway - in a possible break to the six-week-old mystery. (Dino Tromp, AP)

  • Natalee Holloway

    An undated photo of Natalee Holloway that was released by her family after her disappearance. (Family Photo / AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot, 20, takes a walk to the local supermarket near the house of his parents in Oranjestad, Aruba, in Dec. 2007. (Raul Henriquez, AFP/Getty Images)

  • Joran van der Sloot looks over his shoulder as he leaves the courtroom after his murder trial was postponed at the San Jorge prison in Lima, Peru, Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. Dutch citizen Joran van der Sloot asked for more time Friday to decide how to plead in his trial for the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman. His case was postponed until Jan. 11.

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot looks back from his seat after entering the courtroom for the continuation of his murder trial at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. The Dutch citizen pleaded guilty to in the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores on May 30, 2010. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    People protest against Joran van der Sloot as they hold up an enlarged picture of his police mug shot outside San Pedro prison where his murder trial is held in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 11, 2012. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman he met at a Lima casino who was killed five years to the day of the unsolved disappearance in Aruba of an American teen in which he remains the main suspect. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot arrives to the courtroom for his sentence at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 13, 2012. Van der Sloot will be sentenced Friday for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, a young woman he met at a Lima casino. Prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence for first-degree murder and theft. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Joran van der Sloot sits in the courtroom before his sentencing at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 13, 2012. Van der Sloot will be sentenced Friday for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, a young woman he met at a Lima casino. Prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence for first-degree murder and theft. (Karel Navarro, AP)

  • Joran van der Sloot

    Members of the media take pictures of Joran van der Sloot, right, sitting in the courtroom at San Pedro prison in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 13, 2012. Van der Sloot will be sentenced Friday for the 2010 murder of Stephany Flores, a young woman he met at a Lima casino. Prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence for first-degree murder and theft. (Karel Navarro, AP)

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