Natalee's Mom: Don't Declare Her Dead
Father seeking to have missing Ala. teen declared dead
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2011 12:54 AM CDT
Natalee Holloway of Mountain Brook, Alabama was 18 years old when she disappeared in 2005 during a graduation trip to Aruba.   (AP Photo/Family photo, file)
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(Newser) – More than six years after high school senior Natalee Holloway disappeared while on a graduation trip to Aruba with classmates, her father wants to have the Alabama teen declared dead—a move fiercely opposed by her mother. Beth Holloway intends to oppose her ex-husband's "inexplicable effort to have Natalee declared dead," her lawyer said in a statement. "Beth gave birth to and raised Natalee, and will always hope and pray for Natalee's safe return."

Alabama requires a waiting period of five years before a missing person can be declared dead. A petition to have Natalee dead will be heard in an Alabama court today. A lawyer for Natalee's father says he "is seeking closure for his family," CNN reports. "If Dave seeks closure on such a personal and sensitive matter, it should be respected, but not imposed upon Beth in such an adversarial and public manner," Beth Holloway's lawyer said. The man suspected of killing Natalee, Joran Van der Sloot, has been charged with murdering a Peruvian woman.