- Her attorney says Beth Holloway finds the petition "inexplicable"
- Beth Holloway "will always hope and pray for Natalee's safe return"
- The petition will be heard in an Alabama court on Friday
Beth Holloway, the mother of long-missing Alabama teenager Natalee Holloway, opposes a court petition to declare the her dead, an attorney said Thursday.
The petition was filed in June by Dave Holloway, Beth Holloway's ex-husband. It will be heard in a Jefferson County, Alabama, probate court on Friday.
Natalee Holloway was 18 and had just graduated high school in the Birmingham, Alabama, suburb of Mountain Brook when she disappeared on a celebratory trip with classmates to Aruba in 2005.
"Beth intends to oppose Dave's inexplicable effort to have Natalee declared dead," attorney John Q. Kelly said in a statement. "Beth gave birth to and raised Natalee, and will always hope and pray for Natalee's safe return."
Last week, Dave Holloway's attorney said he filed the petition because he "is seeking closure for his family."
"This is a normal proceeding for families when a loved one has been missing for an extended period of time," attorney Karen Hennecy said in a statement. "Alabama law requires a waiting period of five years when a body has not recovered and no death certificate has been issued."
"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," Kelly said Thursday.
Beth Holloway said in a statement last week, issued through her Natalee Holloway Resource Center, which aids families of missing persons, that she learned about the filing when she was handed documents by a process server while addressing a conference in Georgia.
Natalee Holloway's disappearance remains unsolved. A suspect, Joran van der Sloot, was arrested but never charged in connection with the disappearance. He was indicted on federal extortion charges last year after prosecutors accused him of offering to sell information about the location of Holloway's remains in exchange for $250,000.
Van der Sloot is awaiting trial on murder charges in Peru in the death of a woman whose body was found in his hotel room last year. If convicted, prosecutors have said, he faces a 30-year prison term.