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Bond increased to $1 million, charge upgrade expected for suspect accused of killing Kara Nichols

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Joel Hollendorfer was arrested and accused of murder on Tuesday in the disappearance of 19-year-old Kara Nichols, but prosecutors say they intend to upgrade his charge after new information came to light in the alleged killing.

Nichols' autopsy was completed this week after her remains were found on a property in Black Forest. Nichols was first reported missing in 2012.

During a court hearing for Hollendorfer on Wednesday, his bond was increased from $50,000 to $1 million. The judge said Hollendorfer is a flight risk due to more than a dozen prior counts for failure to appear, and his criminal history extends back to the mid-'90s.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office announced that Hollendorfer was accused of second-degree murder on Tuesday after a witness provided "critical information" while being reinterviewed. During Wednesday's hearing, prosecutors said they intend to upgrade that charge to first-degree murder.

Investigators found Nichols' remains on a property near 9600 Burgess Road, which is where Hollendorfer was residing.

Nichols' cause of death wasn't given following her autopsy. It's not clear what led to her alleged murder. We're still working on getting court documents regarding Hollendorfer's arrest.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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Andrew McMillan

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