COLORADO SPRINGS — Kara Nichols, a 19-year-old woman in Colorado Springs, seemingly disappeared 10 years ago. Now, finally, the details of her murder are coming to light.
Nichols’ remains were discovered last month at a property in Black Forest where Joel Hollendorfer and parents lived for years – his mother still does.
Hollendorfer is accused of Nichols’ murder after authorities received a tip from his ex-wife.
Nichols’ who was working as an escort at the time, apparently met Hollendorfer after he’d responded to one of her ads. But, though investigators searched, Nichols wasn’t found for years and the case went cold.
In January of 2022, Kristina Palmer, Hollendorfer’s ex-wife reached out to the FBI and told them Hollendorfer admitted he accidentally killed an escort he hired several years ago and had buried her body on his parents’ property on top of an old horse grave. She said she believed his parents knew about the murder and were covering for their son.
On Feb. 3, 2022, authorities visited a spot on the Hollendorfers’ property that had been flagged by cadaver dogs a decade ago, but wasn’t excavated until this year. Three feet down, they found a black garbage bag. Inside were human remains. Those human remains were later confirmed to be Kara Nichols.
The El Paso County Coroner has ruled Nichols’ death to have been caused primarily by strangulation. They also found evidence of heroin in her system.
Hollendorfer is set to appear in court on April 6, 2022.