(CBS/AP) COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Kara Nichols, the 19-year-old aspiring model who went missing last month, might be the victim of an exploitative subculture that targets would-be models, Colorado authorities said Tuesday.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Nichols was last seen on Oct. 9. Investigators said she told her roommate she might go to Denver, but she left her purse and money behind.
El Paso County Det. Cliff Porter said Nichols wanted desperately to be a model and was willing to take whatever risks to become one, the newspaper reported.
"What we've learned is that there is a subculture to exploit women in these situations," Porter said. "I have a great concern that she can be the victim of that exploitation."
Investigators said they want to talk to a woman with whom Nichols spent most of Oct. 9, but they don't know who she is. The also said Nichols was an avid social media and cellphone user, but she hasn't used either since she disappeared.
Nichols is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, 120 pounds, with blonde hair and green eyes. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to call sheriff's detectives at (719) 520-7227.