Ala. judge asked to declare Natalee Holloway dead

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Associated Press

Posted on January 12, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 12 at 3:35 AM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama judge has scheduled a hearing in Birmingham on whether to sign a court order declaring Natalee Holloway dead more than six years after the 18-year-old woman disappeared in Aruba.

Thursday afternoon's hearing was scheduled before a suspect questioned in Holloway's disappearance, Joran van der Sloot, decided to plead guilty Wednesday to killing a young woman in Peru.

Probate Judge Alan King is hearing a request by Holloway's father to have her declared dead. The judge 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 in Aruba. He set the hearing Thursday to allow time for anyone to come forward.

The father's attorney, Mark White, says no new evidence has emerged.

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