COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Investigators in the Kara Nichols disappearance said the missing teen didn't post the escort ads that recently surfaced in Las Vegas.
The ads featured photos of Nichols, who's been missing from Colorado Springs more than seven weeks, but detectives said they learned the prostitution sites pulled old pictures of Nichols from the web.
"In speaking with authorities from the Las Vegas area, they say that it's quite common for escort businesses to simply shop around on the Internet and find photos like that," said El Paso County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Kramer.
Kramer said investigators still don't know where Nichols could be, and have not ruled out Las Vegas.
Nichols' family says she was an "aspiring model." The 19-year-old had posted some provocative photos on the Internet prompting some media outlets to call her a "lingerie model," or post headlines like "Kara Nichols: Did Lifestyle Choice Lead To Disappearance?"
Aubrey Terry, with the Human Trafficking Task Force of Southern Colorado, said there has been too much focus on Nichols' occupation.
"People are stuck on words like "lingerie model" or "prostitution," and they're losing the fact that someone's sister, someone's daughter, someone's best friend is gone," said Terry. "That should be our focus, not the occupation."
Terry said she's often seen women considered, "less of a victim," because of lifestyle choices.
"Regardless of what she's engaging in or not engaging in, she's still missing," said Terry.
She said from her work with victims, she knows that aspiring models, like Nichols, can be especially vulnerable.
"There's been places that have fronted as modeling agencies that were actually just centers for trafficking and prostitution," said Terry. "So there's definitely a connection between the two."
Nichols left behind her cell phone, money and driver's license when she last left her Colorado Springs apartment on October 9th. She told her roommate she was going to Denver for modeling job.
Anyone with information should call El Paso County Detective Cliff Porter at (719) 390-5555 or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.