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Sexual Predators May Be Preying on Young, Vulnerable Models

Three Colorado Girls Go Missing, Many More May Be Victims

Kara Nichols, Raven Furlong and Kelsie Schelling were all aspiring models who have gone missing.

Kara Nichols (top), Raven Furlong (right) and Kelsie Schelling are all aspiring models who have gone missing.

Kara Nichols, Raven Furlong and Kelsie Schelling all had one thing in common, they wanted to be models. Now they have something else: They are all missing in a baffling case that may involve sexual exploitation and even murder.

The three women, all from Colorado, had posted profiles on modeling websites, hoping to launch a career.

But police say a subculture exists involving businesses that front for prostitution or illegal drug rings. The recruit girls from the sites by promising them modeling jobs.

The National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation says the sites could be feeding grounds for sexual predators. “We’re up to 13 or 14 cases that we’re familiar with,” Michelle Bart, the organization’s co-founder, told the Fox News affiliate in Colorado.

Nichols and Furlong were on a site called “Model Mayhem,” while Shelling had posted a profile on a site called “Explore Talent.”

Police haven’t ruled out anything yet, but the sites appear to have nothing to do with the disappearances. Rather, it appears that a person or persons may be using the sites to find young, vulnerable women.

Nichols left her Colorado Springs home on Oct. 9, telling friends she’d landed a modeling job in Denver. She has’t been seen since. Furlong has been missing since Feb. 5. For the moment, Police consider her a runaway. Schelling was last seen on Feb 4. Her car was found in Pueblo, Colo.

Investigators thought they had a break in the Nichols case, when Nichols’ photo popped up on a Las Vegas site advertising escorts. But police now say the photo was taken from a different site and posted by a woman who is not suspected in Nichols’ disappearance.

Furlong’s mother, Lin Furlong, said she received a strange phone call from her daughter last month. “She said she had to go because it’s not her phone and they needed their phone back,” Furlong said.

Jillian Mourning, 25, a professional model, said she was forced into prostitution at 19, when she met up with a man who identified himself as a Model Mayhem manager. He turned out to be a sexual predator.

“He came into my room with three guys, and they [all] proceeded to rape me,” she recounted. “They took pictures of it, and would even show me pictures of things that I was doing, and videotaped the whole thing.”

The men forced her to work as a prostitute for six months until her manager was finally arrested and sent to prison for an unrelated crime,” she said.




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