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Judge formally declares Natalee Holloway legally dead

Natalee Holloway: New Clues
Natalee Holloway CBS

(CBS/AP) BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama judge Thursday signed an order declaring Natalee Holloway legally dead, more than six years after then teenager vanished in Aruba.

Judge Alan King announced his decision at a hearing requested by David Holloway, Natalee's father. He told the judge in September he believed his daughter had died and he wanted to stop paying her medical insurance and use her college fund for her brother.

Pictures: Joran van der Sloot, Natalee Holloway and Stephany Flores

Thursday's hearing was set before Joran van der Sloot, a suspect questioned in Holloway's disappearance,  pleaded guilty Wednesday in Peru to the 2010 murder of a woman there, Stephany Flores.

Natalee Holloway disappeared on a high school graduation trip in May, 2005. She was last seen leaving a bar with van der Sloot. Her body was never found. 

Complete coverage of Natalee Holloway on Crimesider

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