An Alabama judge says he will rule by early next week whether to proceed with the legal steps necessary to declare Natalee Holloway dead six years after she disappeared on a high school graduation trip to Aruba.

Holloway's father, Dave Holloway, told Probate Judge Alan King that he wants his daughter declared dead because there is no evidence that she's still alive and he would like to use her $2,000 college fund to help her younger brother.

His voice cracked and his eyes filled with tears when he described seeing Natalee for the last time at her high school graduation in 2005.

An attorney for Natalee Holloway's mother, Beth Holloway, said she was surprised by her ex-husband's legal efforts.

Charlie DeBardeleben said Beth Holloway still hopes her daughter will be found.