Natalee Holloway declared dead by judge
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The parents of Natalee Holloway, the American teenager who disappeared in Aruba in 2005, say their ordeal hasn't ended with a judge declaring their daughter dead.
Their lawyers say they hope a young Dutchman seen leaving a bar with Holloway on the last day she was seen alive might ultimately be brought before a U.S. court on charges stemming from the case.
"The FBI told us that they were investigating this from a homicide investigation and we've been dealing with her death for the last six and a half years," Dave Holloway, Natalee's father, told ABC News.
Twenty-four-year-old Joran van der Sloot pleaded guilty Wednesday in Peru to the 2010 slaying of a young woman he had met in a Lima casino.
That plea from the Dutchman described as the prime suspect in the Holloway case came hours before Thursday's hearing in a Birmingham court where Dave and Beth Holloway watched the difficult step of a judge ruling their daughter legally dead.
Holloway was visiting Aruba as part of a school trip to celebrate her high
school graduation in May 2005. She was last seen leaving a nightclub with three men on May 30.
The formal declaration will allow her parents to administer her estate -
including gaining access to fund that were set aside for her college tuition.
Her father said those funds will now go to her brother.
ABC News contributed to this report.
Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.