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Photos: Kara Nichols disappeared one year ago today, update on search

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Photos and videos below.
One year ago today, nineteen-year-old Kara Nichols vanished after leaving her Colorado Springs home for a modeling shoot in Denver. Since then, her parents, Julia and Paul Nichols, have worked tirelessly to find their beloved daughter, but to no avail thus far.

Kara marked her twentieth birthday in May, and while tips about her case continue to come in, her whereabouts remain unknown. Photos, video and the latest details below.

Here's how the situation is summed up in a one-year update posted on the Help Us Find Kara Nichols Facebook page:

Kara Nichols, 19, left her home in Colorado Springs bound for Denver on October 9, 2012 only to not be seen again. The last call on her cell phone was at 11:45p.m. on October 9, 2012. Despite ongoing flyer distribution, a national media campaign and the investigation by law enforcement, still no word from Kara.

In addition to the reward the family posted over the summer, her parents also pushed for Kara to be entered into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs). Kara's case; case number is NamUs MP #20819.

Here's the latest poster shared on the page:
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One of many family photos of Kara featured on the Help Us Find Kara Nichols Facebook page.
Early on, as we've reported, the investigation into Nichols' disappearance focused to a large degree on Model Mayhem, a website for individuals interested in modeling, to which she'd affixed a profile.

We've learned that two other missing young women -- Raven Furlong and Kelsie Jean Schelling -- had also created profiles for modeling-related sites, including Model Mayhem.

Then, in November, a photo of Nichols was spotted on what's described as a "Las Vegas escort-based website," prompting speculation that she was working as a prostitute in Nevada. This prospect wasn't beyond the realm of possibility: In January, Julia Nichols, Kara's mom, revealed that her daughter had "issues with drugs and the link to prostitution."

But even after sharing such personal and painful information, Nichols remains at large -- and if she's found, her adult status means she can return or stay where she's at if she chooses. That's what happened with Furlong, who was contacted by police in California in April and decided not to come home.

Throughout this process, Kara's parents have kept hope alive. Here's a statement they posted to mark the one-year anniversary:

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Kara with her parents.
It's been one year since our beloved daughter Kara Nichols went missing from her residence in Colorado Springs, and our family is bracing for another holiday season without her. As of now, we are no closer to knowing what has happened to her than we were on that awful day she disappeared. While many tips have come in, none have led to answers. It's been a long year of heartache, frustration and deep fear for Kara's safety. She was only 19 years old; now she would be 20. Always a very social person, it would be extremely out of character for Kara not to contact family or friends, unless she were somehow unable to do so. But we will never give up hope of finding Kara. Someone, somewhere, knows what happened and we are begging that person to leave a tip with the El Paso Co. Sheriff's Department. Our family is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to answers in Kara's disappearance. Meanwhile, we wait in a state of fear and grief. Our family has a deep wound that can't be healed, and our hope is that no one may have to go through this pain we have had to for the past year.
Kara's case certainly hasn't been forgotten: 7News reports that tips continue to flow into the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, with the most recent of them arriving during recent weeks -- and while none have led to a breakthrough thus far, the investigation continues.

If you have information about Kara Nichols, you're encouraged to phone the sheriff's office at 719-390-5555 or use contact numbers on the poster seen here. Look below to watch the 7News piece, followed by much of our previous coverage.

Continue for previous coverage of Kara Nichols' disappearance, including additional photos and videos.


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