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Van der Sloot plea may lead Judge to declare Natalee Holloway dead

Van der Sloot accepted the Peruvian murder charges against him, Wednesday, which may allow a Judge in Alabama to declare Natalee Holloway dead based on the adjudication of Van der Sloot, the only suspect in her killing.


Joran Van der Sloot's trial is shown in the Lurigancho prison in Lima Wednesday. Van der Sloot was arrested but never charged in the 2005 disappearance of 18-year-old Alabama native Natalee Holloway. Now that he is an adjudicated killer, Holloway's father is seeking that she be officially declared dead.

Pilar Olivares/Reuters

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A judge holds a hearing Thursday on whether to sign a court order declaring Natalee Holloway dead more than six years after she disappeared in Aruba. The hearing comes one day after a suspect questioned in her disappearance, Joran van der Sloot, pleaded guilty to killing a woman in Peru.

Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King is hearing a request by Natalee Holloway's father to have her declared dead. Her mother originally objected, but will not contest a ruling Thursday, her attorney said.

King ruled in September that Dave Holloway had met the legal presumption of death for his daughter and it was up to someone to prove she didn't die on a high school graduation trip. He set the hearing for Thursday to allow time for anyone to come forward.

The father's attorney, Mark White, said no new evidence has emerged, and he will ask the judge to rule her dead.

"We intend to point out the fact that the person who we believe is responsible for this tragedy is now an adjudicated killer," White said Wednesday.

Van der Sloot, 24, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old woman he met at a Lima casino. Stephany Flores was killed five years to the day after Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old from the wealthy Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook, disappeared. She was last seen leaving a bar withvan der Sloot.


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