Natalee Holloway's Mom: Daughter Not Dead

Beth Holloway will fight her ex-husband's petition to have Natalee declared dead

ByABC News
September 22, 2011, 2:46 PM

Sept. 22, 2011— -- The mother of Natalee Holloway, an Alabama teen who disappeared in Aruba six years ago, will fight a petition by the girl's father to declare Natalee legally dead.

Beth Holloway will go to court Friday to challenge her ex-husband Dave Holloway's petition for presumption of death, filed in probate court in Birmingham, Ala., in June. Natalee Holloway vanished on May 30, 2005, more than six years ago, at age 17.

Dave Holloway claimed in the court papers that because Natalee has not been seen or heard from, and there is no reason to believe she is alive any longer, the time has come to declare her legally dead.

Beth Holloway will oppose that petition in court, according to a statement by her attorney, in which he called Dave Holloway's actions "inexplicable."

"Beth gave birth to and raised Natalee, and will always hope and pray for Natalee's safe return," said her attorney, John Q. Kelly, in a statement. "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."

The two sides are due in court Friday.

Beth Holloway referred questions to her attorney, who did not return calls.

Dave Holloway could not be reached for comment.

Beth Holloway said earlier this month that she had no idea her ex-husband was thinking of filing a petition for presumption of death.

"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. "I don't know what this is about, or why Dave is taking this action at this time."

The court papers stated that Natalee left an estate "estimated to be worth approximately $500 and probably not more."

Beth Holloway has been relentless in her efforts to find out what happened to her daughter, even slipping into a Peruvian prison to confront Joran van der Sloot, the Aruban man suspected of killing Natalee.

At one point, she agreed to a sting, seemingly complying with van der Sloot's demand for cash in exchange for information about the location of her daughter's body. The transaction was monitored by Aruba authorities, but van der Sloot left the island before the FBI filed extortion charges.

Before van der Sloot could be arrested on extortion, he was arrested in Peru and charged with killing a woman, Stephany Flores Ramirez, on May 30, 2010, the fifth anniversary of Natalee's disappearance. He has been in a Peruvian prison since.

Natalee Holloway was on the last day of a graduation trip to Aruba with her senior class at Mountain Brook High School in Alabama when she did not return to her hotel.

She was last seen in a car with several people, including van der Sloot.