Natalee Holloway's father has asked a judge to issue an official declaration of death for the 18-year-old Alabama student who went missing during a 2005 graduation trip to Aruba.
Dave Holloway filed papers in an Alabama probate court on June 21, 2011, seeking a "petition for presumption of death for persons missing for more than five years," TMZ first reported.
In a sworn statement, Holloway said it was his "painful belief that my daughter Natalee is deceased, and not a runaway."
A hearing on the father's request is set for September 23, but it could be months before a decision is reached, state officials said.
Karen Hennecy, Dave Holloway's lawyer, told ABC News that Holloway "is seeking closure for this family."
Meanwhile, Beth Holloway, Natalee's mother and Dave's ex-wife, said she does not intend to support the petition and was surprised by the request.
"I only learned about this when I was handed the citation by a process server while addressing a large audience at a conference in Georgia," she said in a statement through the Natalee Holloway Resource Center. "I don't know what this is about, or why Dave is taking this action at this time."
Natalee Holloway, a senior at Mountain Brook High School in Alabama, went missing the last day of her Aruba graduation trip.
Aruba authorities identified Joran van der Sloot as the main suspect in the unsolved case. Natalee was last seen in a car with several people, including van der Sloot.
After police interrogation, Van der Sloot was eventually released and no charges were filed.
Van der Sloot was arrested in 2010 by Peruvian police in the murder of Stephany Flores Ramirez.
He also faces federal charges for attempting to extort money from the Holloways in exchange for information regarding the location of Natalee's remains, which were never found.