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Kara Nichols cause of death identified as strangulation, autopsy report shows

Kara Nichols was 19-years old when she vanished in 2012
Posted at 11:08 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 16:47:14-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The El Paso County Coroner released the autopsy report for Kara Nichols, identifying the cause of death as asphyxia due to strangulation.

Kara Nichols was 19-years old when she vanished from Colorado Springs on October 9, 2012.

The report says Nichols' remains, found on a property in Black Forest in February 2022, were placed in three layers of duct tape sealed, black plastic bags and buried 3-4 feet below ground.

After nearly ten years, Nichols' remains had decomposed and the report listed "No identifiable anatomic cause of death".

However, the report cites a "reported witness to the death relayed to a third party that he 'accidentally killed an escort a couple years prior to that, and ultimately buried her on his mother's farm' and that he 'accidentally strangled her' while they were 'having sex'". Nichols' body was discovered in the exact manner described by the third party.

The Coroner's report also sighted probable heroin intoxication, which Nichols' family has mentioned she struggled with.

There will be a "Vigil for Hope and Justice" in honor of Nichols on April 6 at 4:00 pm at 215 S Tejon St.

Joel Hollendorfer is being charged with First Degree Murder in connection to Nichols' disappearance. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 6 for a Plea Hearing at 2:30 pm.

Follow Natalie Chuck on Twitter for updates

Location for Vigil:

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