The day before a young Dutchman suspected in the disappearance of their 18 year old daughter was to be sentenced on an unrelated murder charge, the parents of Natalee Holloway heard the grim pronouncement that their daughter is now officially dead.
Six years after she disappeared while visiting the Caribbean island of Aruba on a high school graduation trip, Natalee Holloway has been declared legally dead. The Thursday ruling by a Birmingham, Alabama Judge marked a somber conclusion to her parents' more than half decade search for their missing child.
The ruling came a day before the Friday sentencing of a young Dutchman, Joran van der Sloot, on an unrelated charge of murdering another young woman while on a gambling trip to Peru in the Spring of 2010. Van der Sloot pleaded guilty to those charges Wednesday in a Lima, Peru courtroom and now faces up to 30 years in prison and fines for the killiing of Stephany Flores, 21.