Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Disappearance and Murder of Kara Nichols


Kara Nichols has been missing since October 9th, 2012. She was only 19 years-old at the time of her disappearance. Kara was born and raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado. During her early teen years, Kara began using drugs, and she struggled with addiction throughout high school. She graduated from a local alternative high school and then got a job as a waitress. Around the same time, Kara began to pursue a career in modeling as well. Unbeknownst to her parents, Kara had also been working as an escort since she was 17 years old. 

During the summer of 2012, Kara's parents moved to Chicago, Illinois. Kara initially moved with them, but continued to struggle with drug addiction. She later decided to return to Colorado Springs, and ended up moving into a house there with three male roommates. Kara also returned to her previous waitressing job and continued to pursue modeling. She created a Model Mayhem profile to help her network with more agencies and photographers.

It appeared that Kara was getting more and more work as a model. In fact, on the evening of her disappearance, Kara told her roommates that a friend was picking her up and driving her to a modeling job. Unfortunately, she never returned home and was never seen or heard from again. 

-Continued from Tumblr post-

Over the following two days, Kara's brother attempted to contact her several times but was unable to get in touch. On October 12th, 2012, Kara's brother reported her missing--but police initially did not take the case seriously. Kara's brother was told that Kara is an adult and was free to remain out-of-touch. However, Kara's family members knew something was wrong--as it was uncharacteristic for her to not contact them. 

As weeks passed without any sign of Kara, the investigation finally began to progress. It was discovered that Kara's cell phone pinged one final time at 11:45 PM on the evening of her disappearance. The phone appeared to be traveling towards Denver. In November 2014, investigators announced that they wanted to talk to two brunette women who were seen with Kara on the evening of October 9th. It's believed that both women were associates of Kara's through the modeling/escorting business. Neither women have ever come forward, nor have their identities been discovered. 

One of the persons of interest (click to enlarge)

Over the years, there have been numerous reported sightings of Kara. Some have reportedly seen her accompanied by a man in the area of Fillmore Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The witnesses stated that Kara appeared frightened of the man. Still, these sightings have never been confirmed and this man has never been identified. 

In May 2014, a recording was released of Deputy Sheriff Cliff Porter admitting that he had "cut corners in regards to the investigation" and did not look into certain pieces of evidence in the beginning of the case. Kara's family members are frustrated by the lack of urgency in her case. They've placed a monetary reward for anyone with information about her disappearance in hopes that it will encourage someone to come forward.

Today, authorities believe that foul play was involved in Kara's disappearance. She remains missing today. If you have any information that could lead to Kara's whereabouts, please call 719-634-7867 to submit an anonymous tip. 


UPDATE (February 2022):

Kara's remains have been found. A man named Joel Hollendorfer has been charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence. 

Investigators interviewed Hollendorfer several times throughout their investigation into Kara's disappearance. Phone records showed that Kara and Hollendorfer had been in contact several times on the night she vanished. Hollendorfer told investigators that he had solicited Kara's escort services, but they never actually met up. 

Investigators also attempted to interview Hollendorfer's wife, Kristina, but she initially did not cooperate. Then, in early 2022, Kristina finally broke her silence. She spoke to investigators and said that Hollendorfer had admitted to her that he "accidentally killed an escort he hired and buried her body on top of an old horse grave on his parent's property." On February 3rd, 2022, investigators searched said property and found human remains. Days later, it was confirmed that the remains belonged to Kara Nichols.

Hollendorfer was charged with second-degree murder and tampering with evidence shortly thereafter. His charges are pending while he remains behind bars in El Paso County. 

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