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Missing Teen Model Found Buried In Horse Grave 10 Years After Disappearance -- Shocking Details

Missing Model Kara Nichols Found Dead Buried Colorado

[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]

The family of a missing teenager is finally getting closure after ten long years of being kept in the dark.

Kara Nichols, an aspiring model living in Colorado, was last seen by her roommates on October 9, 2012. She was officially reported missing after five days, but she was never found.

The 19-year-old had been working as an escort at the time, and police looked into her last client, a man named Joel Hollendorfer, then in his mid-30s. Investigators tied Joel to Kara through phone records; they say text conversations set up a meeting for sex. Hollendorfer admitted to the texts but said they never actually met in person.

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In 2014, cadaver dogs searched the farm Hollendorfer’s parents owned and marked a few spots of interest. However, Joel’s mother, Betty Hollendorfer, told police they were just where they’d buried animals who had died on the farm over the years. The spots were never dug up. And that was the end of it… for over 7 years.

Last month Joel’s ex-wife spoke to detectives at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office and helped them crack the case wide open. She claimed that in 2014, shortly after his father died, her then-husband told her “he hired an escort and during sex with her in his car, he accidentally strangled her until she died.” According to the ex, whose name is being kept out of the press, Hollendorfer told his mother and father about the accidental killing, and that they’d actually helped him cover it up. He took the teen’s body to his parents’ land and “buried her on an old horse grave with plastic bags and lime.”

Police arrested Hollendorfer on an unrelated charge and interviewed him once again about Kara’s disappearance. He retold his story that he’s never met her.

However, in a search of his parents’ property this week, authorities dug up the grave of Mrs. Hollendorfer’s favorite horse — one of the spots marked by the cadaver dogs years ago — and three feet down they “found black plastic which is believed to be a garbage bag.” Inside they found a hand, and eventually a full set of remains.

A positive identification was made on Wednesday, and Hollendorfer, now 46 years old, was charged with second-degree murder, as well as an evidence tampering charge.

We can’t imagine the relief the Nichols family must feel after all these years. They released a statement to the Justice for Kara Nichols page on Facebook, saying:

“It is with profound sadness and a heavy heart, that we share that we were informed yesterday by authorities, that our beautiful daughter’s remains were found and a suspect has been arrested in the case.

We are writing to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all of those who tirelessly gave time, money, attention and assistance to finding Kara over the past ten years.”


[Image via Justice For Kara Nichols/Facebook/El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.]

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Feb 11, 2022 17:26pm PDT