Police Find Body in Search for Missing Madison, Wis., Student

Wisconsin police found a body Monday in a wooded area south of Madison while searching for a college student missing for more than two weeks, but police have not identified the body as that of 22-year-old Kelly Nolan.

"The body we have found we believe is a homicide victim," Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain told FOX News. Police declined to say whether the body was that of a man or a woman, and would not say if the body was that of Nolan.

"We just don't know that yet," DeSpain said.

Madison police, in conjunction with 100 officers from surrounding police departments as well as the FBI, searched the village of Oregon early Monday morning for evidence related to Nolan, who vanished more than two weeks ago after a night of drinking, DeSpain said.

The body was found at 8:45 a.m.

A multi-jurisdictional forensics team is working with the Dane County coroner to process the scene, according to DeSpain. He also said the area — located on a private property in a rural area — may take several days to process.

The search began with the intent of finding items connected to Nolan's disappearance, DeSpain said. Instead, police found a body.

The area was searched less vigorously earlier in the week based on tips and information that police received, and the discovery of a body came as a surprise.

"The condition of the body made it obvious to the trained eye of investigators that this was a homicide," DeSpain said.

Investigators want to bring in an expert team to analyze the area, DeSpain said.

Police will now talk to residents along the road near the area where the body was found to find out if they saw anything on June 23, the morning Kelly vanished.

"The search for Kelly Nolan does continue until we make a positive identification on this body," DeSpain said.

The body will remain where it was found for forensic testing and to be identified.

"We have developed information that led us to the area and we have found a body," DeSpain said.

He could not confirm that the body is that of Nolan. Information provided to the police spurred searches in a number of locations, the one outside of the village of Oregon being the most high-profiled one in the investigation.

Police do not have any suspects in custody and searches were continuing, primarily where the body was found, DeSpain said.

The Nolan family was at the scene around 7 a.m. and was awaiting updates on the investigation at an undisclosed location.

The Nolan family has not seen the body, said DeSpain, adding that the discovery of a body has uncovered an unsolved homicide case that is not necessarily linked to Kelly Nolan.

The FBI was assisting the Madison Police Department investigation and the search, Special Agent Doug Porrini of the FBI Milwaukee office told FOXNews.com.

The search was focused on a 3-square-mile area immediately north of the village of Oregon, east of Highway 14, Madison police said.

A number of areas were identified during the investigation as being worth searching, according to police.

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior last was seen early on June 23 after a night out with friends at downtown Madison bars. Her family has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to her return.

A Madison cafe owner said Saturday that an employee reported seeing Nolan on June 23, the morning she last was seen. The employee walked Nolan toward her home until they ran into another man who said he knew Nolan, according to Tom Paras, the owner of Amy's Cafe.

The employee left Nolan with the other man. Two days later, when he learned of Nolan's disappearance, the employee called police with the information, Paras said.

Police have released few details, saying they don't want to jeopardize the investigation. They have searched through surveillance tapes of a bar where Nolan reportedly was seen, but she wasn't seen on those tapes, police said.

DeSpain has said detectives don't know whether alcohol is a factor in Nolan's disappearance.

Family members have been advised not to discuss details of the case.

April Nolan, 20, has acknowledged talking to her elder sister by phone on the day Kelly Nolan disappeared but declined to detail the conversation, saying it is irrelevant to the search. She did say her sister told her during the call where she was.

April Nolan has said her sister was recovering after the deaths of their father in 2006 and their stepmother in May, both in Illinois. Kelly Nolan grew up in Waunakee, Wis.

Madison police were assisted in Monday's search with agents from the FBI, Dane County Sheriff's Department, K-9 units and horse search teams. Police agencies from Wisconsin and Illinois as well as numerous volunteers also were helping.

The reward money was donated by the Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, a California group that helps find missing persons and an anonymous corporation with ties to the family, said the woman's mother, Mary Jane Nolan.

FOXNews.com's Adam Riback and the Associated Press contributed to this report.