Natalee Holloway Declared Dead? Judge to Make Decision Thursday

An Alabama judge is set to decide Thursday on whether to sign a court order declaring the death of Natalee Holloway, the 18-year-old who disappeared during a 2005 graduation trip to Aruba.

Probate Judge Alan King will rule on the presumption of Holloway’s death in a Birmingham courtroom this afternoon, The Associated Press reported. King had declared in Sept. 2011 that the teen’s father, Dave Holloway, had met the requirements for legal presumption of death and that someone had to prove otherwise. This later hearing was set to allow time for someone with information on Holloway’s death to come forward.

According to Holloway's attorney, no new evidence has been presented.

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."

Karen Hennecy, Dave Holloway's lawyer, told ABC News that Holloway "is seeking closure for this family."

Meanwhile, Beth Holloway, the teen's mother and Dave Holloway'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’s death hearing follows Joran van der Sloot’s guilty plea on Wednesday to killing Stephany Flores Ramirez in Peru.

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, he was eventually released and no charges were filed.

Peruvian police arrested Van der Sloot in 2010 for 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.

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