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Deputies: Missing aspiring model may be exploitation victim

Kara Nichols, 19, was last seen on Oct. 9 in the Colorado Springs area. She was believed to be traveling to the Denver area for employment purposes. (El Paso County Sheriff's Office)

A 19-year-old aspiring model from Colorado missing since October may be the victim of a subculture that exploits would-be models, authorities said.

Kara Nichols was last seen on Oct. 9 in the Colorado Springs area. Investigators say she was believed to be traveling to Denver for employment purposes, but authorities are concerned her disappearance could be suspicious.

Detectives on Friday continued to investigate leads generated following a press conference on Tuesday regarding Nichols’ disappearance, Inspector John San Agustin of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office told FoxNews.com.

“Obviously we’ve taken steps to interview people closely associated with her,” said Agustin, who declined to elaborate.

Nichols told her roommate she might go to Denver, but left behind her purse and money. She has also been active on social media websites and on her cellphone, but hasn’t used either since her disappearance. Her cellphone has been turned off since Oct. 9, San Agustin said.

Nichols, who has piercings in her upper lip and navel, is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, 120 pounds with blond hair and green eyes. She also has small tattoos on her left wrist and left ankle. Anyone with information concerning her whereabouts is asked to call the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at (719) 520-7227.