NewsCovering Colorado


Kara Nichols' friend reacts to latest developments in case

Joel Hollendorfer now charged with 1st Degree Murder
kara and joel pic.jpg
Posted at 4:48 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 00:34:25-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — A Facebook page changed it's title from "Help us Find Kara Nichols" to "Justice for Kara Nichols" after the 19-year old's remains were found in Colorado Springs, nearly ten years after her disappearance.

One of Nichols' friends from middle school, Lynette, recently posted a comment in which she recounted cherished memories she still has of their years together.

"I was not in the state for very long. I moved around a lot, but her time to me was valuable and she was always a friend that I kept close," said Lynette.

Nichols' case was cold from October 2012, until February 2022.

"This was just a gorgeous soul that should be around," said Lynette.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office believes she was working as an escort, when she was allegedly choked to death by 46-year old Joel Hollendorfer while having sex in his car.

"We all have dark times in our lives, and ya know I think that in a lot of cases and with a lot of people, it gets swept under the rug," said Lynette.

Hollendorfer stepped into a courtroom for the first time in-person on Thursday morning, where prosecutors revealed he is being charged with 1st Degree Murder instead of 2nd Degree Murder in connection to Nichols' disappearance.

Stephen Longo, a Lawyer and Owner of the Longo Firm, says 1st Degree Murder could be harder for the prosecution to prove.

"They're going to have to rely on 2 things: 1. That nobody believes the defendant. 2. They're going to be relying on kind of what they found in that Cold Case, right? This was a cold case file review."

The accused killer is now being held without bond.

His bond was originally set at $50,000 then increased to $1 million.

Documents reflecting the updated charges against Joel Hollendorfer (2/17/2022)
Documents reflecting the updated charges against Joel Hollendorfer (2/17/2022)

The arrest affidavit revealed the Sheriff's Office found a human hand and other remains on Hollendorfer's mother's property, which the county coroner eventually identified and Nichol's.

According to the affidavit, the Sheriff's Office searched the same property back in 2014.

Hollendorfer is expected back in court on Wednesday, February 23.

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