Back in September 2011 I reported on the initial hearing held in a Jefferson County, Alabama probate court to declare Natalee Holloway, the 18-year old who disappeared in Aruba in May 2005 while on vacation celebrating her high school graduation, dead: Hearing Held on Petition to Declare Natalee Holloway Deceased.
Before the judge presiding over the initial hearing could make a final ruling, notices were required to be published in local newspapers which asked anyone who had information about Ms. Holloway's whereabouts to come forward. But since no one responded to the ads within the required time limit, last week Jefferson County probate judge Alan King held a second hearing and officially declared Ms. Holloway dead. This will allow her father, Dave Holloway, to stop paying for her health insurance and use $2,000 sitting in Ms. Holloway's college fund for the benefit of her younger brother, Matthew.
Ironically the ruling came the day after Joran van der Sloot, the prime suspect in Ms. Holloway's disappearance, plead guilty to the murder of 21-year-old Peruvian Stephany Flores back in May 2010, which was exactly five years to the day that Ms. Holloway disappeared. On Friday van der Sloot was sentenced to 28 years in a Peruvian prison.