Deputies identify one woman last seen with missing model Kara Nichols, still seeking second woman

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Investigators tell 7NEWS they have identified and interviewed one of the two women who may have been the last people to see a missing model from Colorado Springs.

The two brunettes were seen with 19-year-old Kara Nichols on the day she vanished last month.

Deputies told 7NEWS they have contacted the brunette seen in the photos that deputies released on a "person of interest" poster.

However, they are still looking for a second brunette that they do not have a picture of.

Investigators have said that they consider the two brunette women to be witnesses -- not suspects -- in Nichols' disappearance.

Deputies said a number of tips and leads have poured in since media reports about Nichols last week, but investigators are not providing any specific details.

Nichols was last seen on the evening of Oct. 9 as she left her home located in the 6700 block of Mission Road in Colorado Springs, sheriff's officials said. She left behind key personal items -- her purse and driver's license -- suggesting she planned to soon return home.

She told a roommate that she was going to Denver to check on a modeling job.

Since that day, the young woman who constantly used her cellphone and social media to stay in touch with family and friends hasn't been heard from, officials said.

"All of a sudden that stopped -- no communication since then, especially from a person who was an extrovert, who was always reaching out to people," said Sheriff Terry Maketa.

The abrupt end of contact with Nichols makes "this disappearance more concerning," Maketa  said.

El Paso County sheriff's officials said they think Nichols' eagerness to break into the modeling business may have "caused Kara to fall prey to a subculture of modeling business fronts that many times involve illicit drugs and prostitution."

"This subculture could have exploited a teenage girl who may have lacked the life experience to see the inherent risks. Our investigators have uncovered several websites which are not the cause of Kara's disappearance, but sites which relate to this subculture," sheriff's officials said.

"This was a good young kid who wanted something so badly and really believed in the people who told her that they could hand it to her," said sheriff's Detective Cliff Porter.

The missing teen's father, Paul Nichols, asked the public to help find his daughter.

"She was a delightful daughter, a delightful kid," the father said, describing a "very bright, very creative" young woman with a passion for art and fashion.

"She had sparkly eyes and she was very interested in art," Paul Nichols said.

"She just could’ve been anything. She could've had the world at her feet," the father said. "To see that she's missing now is just a crushing blow."

A page on ModelMayhem.com lists Nichols as a model looking for work.

"I've done mostly lingerie shoots so far but I'm extremely open minded," her ModelingMayhem.com biography states. Nichols also worked at a Colorado Springs restaurant.

Nichols is described as white, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 120 pounds with blond hair and green eyes.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at 719-390-5555 or email tips to findkaranichols@gmail.com.

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