The possible remains of 19-year-old Kara Nichols have been found after nearly 10 years, police said. Now, a murder suspect has been arrested in connection to the Colorado cold case.
Nichols was last seen by a family member on Oct. 9, 2012. She was last seen leaving an area in unincorporated El Paso County, Colorado. Her family reported her missing on Oct. 14, 2012, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said.
Nichols has not been found since, but in January 2022, a cold case review was conducted and a witness was located and interviewed, officials said.
After the interview, critical new information had come to light and a significant new lead was developed, police said. They did not release further details about the new information.
On Feb. 7, police got a search warrant and detectives from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office went to a location on Burgess Road. The search led to the recovery of female human remains, according to authorities.
On Feb. 8, the El Paso County Coroner’s Office tentatively identified the victim as Nichols.
Police then arrested Joel Hollendorfer and he was booked into the El Paso County Jail on charges of second-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence, officials said.
The case is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the Investigations Tip Line at (719) 520-6666.