Our card this week is Nicole Silvers, the Five of Diamonds from Colorado.
Nicole, who her friends all called Nikki, was a happy, free-spirited teenager juggling
a part-time job, high school classes, and a busy social life, when one day in the spring
of 2014, she vanished.
We sent our reporting team to her hometown in Colorado to speak with investigators currently
working her case, about why her story is so unique, and why the circumstances surrounding
her disappearance remain so baffling.
What we walked away with was a revelation law enforcement had previously not known about,
a dark secret one of Nikki’s family members had been keeping for years.
I’m Ashley Flowers, and this is The Deck.
Around 6.30 in the morning on April 10th, 2014, 16-year-old Dana Stouffer was just waking
up to get ready for school.
As she made her way down the hall and to the kitchen, Dana noticed something that made
The bedroom door to her friend Nikki’s room was wide open, like not just a little bit
cracked, completely open, which was weird considering Nikki normally kept her door closed.
When Dana looked through the open door, she noticed that her friend wasn’t in her bed.
Even more strange was the fact that Nikki’s bed was made.
Normally she never made her bed.
Not seeing Nikki in her room or anywhere in the house caused Dana to ask a lot of questions
in her mind.
Where was she?
Had she left for school early?
And if it was the latter, that was definitely odd because rarely was Nikki ever up before
Dana, let alone gone from the house.
Elk County, Colorado cold case detective Byron Castellan said each minute that ticked by,
Dana couldn’t come up with a reason as to why Nikki was not where she should have been.
But before she did anything drastic, she poked around her friend’s room and that’s when
she noticed something else.
All her clothes are gone, her guitar is gone, her shampoos and conditioners that I guess
were really high-end that she really meant a lot to her, like all of her stuff was gone.
As Dana looked around the room, she not only took note of what was missing, she also noticed
big items Nikki had left behind, her guitar case, and the one thing no teenager would
ever be caught without.
It is weird that the guitar was gone, but not the case.
And her cell phone charger was still there.
Her guitar was important to her.
She took the guitar, you’d think she’d put it in the case to keep it safe.
And if she was going to grab up all her possessions, it’s strange that she would forget her phone
Now, Nikki and Dana weren’t related, but they did live together.
The girls were both only 16 and went to the same high school.
Both of them lived with Dana’s mom, Allison, in Allison’s small one-story ranch house in
Longmont, Colorado, a small city about an hour north of Denver.
Nikki had parents and siblings of her own in the town of Firestone, about 25 minutes
east of Longmont.
But at the time, she wasn’t getting along with her family, so she’d gotten permission
to temporarily live with Dana and Allison.
They’re having problems, you know, teenage.
She didn’t seem like a super delinquent problem child, but just not getting along with mom
Nothing like real big, just kind of a underlying not getting along a lot with dad, I think.
I know she, friends said that she had some complaints about her dad being overly strict.
Apparently, everyone involved with this situation was okay with the arrangement.
It kind of seemed like Nikki was following in the footsteps of her older sister, Jessica,
who had also grown estranged from the Silvers family.
Nikki wasn’t paying rent at Allison’s house while she stayed there.
Allison was just doing her daughter’s friend a favor until Nikki could work out a living
arrangement with her mom and dad or find permanent housing elsewhere.
Nikki’s parents figured their teenage daughter would move back home after she realized what
a lot of teens learn the hard way, that working and going to school full time without any
parental support is really hard and it adds up fast.
Nikki had been living with Dana and her mom for just a few weeks, and during that time,
at no point had Nikki talked about moving back in with her parents.
So her and a lot of her prized possessions being gone all of a sudden was weird.
Dana figured that if Nikki had decided to go home to her family, she would have at least
given her a heads up.
Plus, she hadn’t even heard Nikki leave the night before.
Dana tried to think about the last time she’d seen her friend, and she realized that she
hadn’t seen her at all the day before.
Nikki kept a busy schedule between being a high school student and working as a cook
at a pizza place in Meade, Colorado, which was just a town over, so it wasn’t completely
unusual for Dana and Nikki to go a day or so without seeing one another.
After a few minutes of looking around Nikki’s room, Dana went to ask her mom Allison if
she’d seen Nikki at all on Wednesday, April 9th, but Allison said no, she hadn’t seen
Nikki in at least two days.
They both agreed that neither of them had talked to Nikki about any plans for her to
move out, and how neither noticed any sounds of someone leaving during the night before.
So the whole thing felt weird, but Dana and Allison decided not to panic.
They figured that Nikki had just picked up some extra shifts at work and would maybe
fill them in on her plans later.
Allison briefly worried that maybe Nikki felt she’d overstayed her welcome, which wasn’t
But Friday rolled around, and Nikki was a no-show at school and her job, which was especially
weird because that particular Friday, April 11th, was payday.
Here is Detective Castellan again.
It wasn’t until the 11th when people started to think, well, this is odd, especially when
she didn’t show up for work.
She was always good about showing up for work.
So the 11th, she doesn’t show up for work.
Work calls and speaks with Dana or Allison, and that gets the ball rolling for talking
Mom and dad.
Mom and dad hadn’t seen her.
And then by the 12th, they’re like, okay, now it’s been a couple of days, hasn’t gone
She’s not at the place where she was staying in Longmont.
She’s not at mom and dad’s.
So we should get law enforcement involved.
Because she was 16, and I believe she had some previous runaway reports, it was treated
as a runaway.
Like Castellan said, after everyone talked to each other, on Saturday, April 12th, Nikki’s
mom, Barbara, and sister, Sarah, called the Weld County Sheriff’s Office to report that
Nikki ran away again.
It’s not clear exactly how many times Nikki had taken off from her parents’ house before
leading up to her moving in with Dana and Allison.
But in every one of those instances, Nikki had always shown back up in a day or two after
cooling off, usually at a friend’s house.
When the Weld County Sheriff’s Office got Barbara and Sarah’s call reporting Nikki
as a runaway, they sent a deputy to the family’s house to ask some follow-up questions.
At the time, no one in Nikki’s family felt that she was in immediate danger.
So there wasn’t a sense of urgency quite yet.
They’d been down this road before, and they just wanted to make sure that they did
everything they could to keep tabs on Nikki in the event that she turned up or got into
There was no suspicion that any foul play had occurred.
It seemed like they thought that she was a runaway and just a private friend just wanted
her a report made so she could be entered in the system if she’s contacted, that they
would know where she is and that she’s safe.
Deputies filed a runaway report, which meant that if law enforcement in neighboring towns
or counties found Nikki or picked her up for something, Weld County would get notified
and deputies would be able to at least tell Nikki’s family that she was alive and just
choosing not to come home.
So things briefly went back to business as usual by the end of the day on Saturday.
But by Sunday night, when Nikki still hadn’t shown up anywhere, her friends, coworkers
and family were like, OK, something is definitely wrong.
After a few more days, as time goes on, it just gets more unusual, because as I said
before, when she’s run away, it’s not been very long.
She’s back now that she hasn’t gone to work.
Family learns that all her possessions were gone out of the bedroom at Dana’s house.
So now they’re like, oh, maybe she moved away.
But then it’s strange that she had a paycheck.
Friday was payday.
So if she was going to move to California, you’d think she would have stuck around till
Friday and get her last paycheck.
Another cause for alarm was the fact that between Tuesday, April 8th and Friday, April
11th, friends and family had been trying to text and call Nikki’s cell, but it kept going
straight to voicemail.
When their calls were still going straight to voicemail on Sunday night, Dana Allison
and the Silvers family started to really worry.
Her parents reached back out to the sheriff’s office, and that’s when the case went from
being a teen runaway report to an actual missing persons investigation.
That meant detectives started asking questions, the biggest one being, when was the last time
anyone saw Nikki?
The first two people authorities turned to for answers were Dana and Allison, and what
they told investigators shifted the focus of the investigation in a whole new direction.
When police sat down and interviewed Dana, she told them that the last time she saw Nikki
was around midnight on Tuesday, April 8th, the day before she disappeared.
Dana told police that Nikki was sitting in someone’s car in their driveway.
Dana’s mom, Allison, told the authorities the same thing, only she had woken up around
2 a.m. to get a glass of water and happened to just glance out front and saw Nikki sitting
in someone’s passenger seat.
Allison described the car as an older, boxy-looking Oldsmobile.
Neither of them knew whose car it was, and they hadn’t been able to see who’d been
in the driver’s seat.
This information forced investigators to consider a different scenario.
Maybe Nikki didn’t just run away.
Maybe she had been taken by someone that she thought she could trust.
As detectives questioned more and more people in Nikki’s close circle of friends, including
her parents, Barbara and Kevin, they learned more valuable information.
On Tuesday, April 8th, the last day anyone saw her, Nikki went to work at Pizza Plus
At the time, Nikki’s car had broken down, so she’d been bumming rides from people
to get to and from school and work.
Her friends weren’t sure where Nikki’s broken-down car was.
She didn’t have the money to fix it at the time, and she managed to get around without
Sometimes she would get rides from friends, but a lot of times she resorted to hitchhiking,
ignoring warnings from friends and family about the dangers of a teenage girl getting
into cars with strangers.
Police learned from one of Nikki’s co-workers named Jesse that he’d driven her home to
Allison and Dana’s house after work on Tuesday evening.
But it wasn’t his car that was spotted again at midnight and 2 a.m.
Allison and Dana said that after their last sighting of Nikki, they never heard her come
But to be fair, they would have been asleep.
The next day, Wednesday, April 9th, Dana and Allison said that they had not seen Nikki
at all, but they didn’t think anything of it at the time.
The only person who was supposed to see Nikki on the 9th was her cousin Michelle.
Michelle told investigators that she had made lunch plans with Nikki that day and that Nikki
didn’t show up.
Michelle said she texted Nikki around noon asking her if she needed a ride, but Nikki
At the time, Michelle just brushed it off as her cousin flaking.
It wasn’t until the next morning on the 10th that Dana noticed Nikki’s room was cleared
After conducting these interviews with Dana, Allison, and Michelle, police were starting
to get an idea of Nikki’s last movements and what the teen’s life was like.
Most importantly, her habits and her general lifestyle while living outside of her parents'
Friends said that she smoked marijuana every once in a while, but she wasn’t really getting
Too much, she wasn’t really a big drinker.
You know, all her friends said that she was pretty bright, free spirit, used to describe
Musician, she played the guitar, so she liked music.
She was a loyal friend, she made friends fairly easy, she had close friends.
To detectives, Nikki sounded like a normal teenage girl.
And part of a lot of teenage girls’ lives is some kind of relationship or boyfriend.
Police wanted to know if Nikki had a boyfriend that they could interview.
Nikki’s mom, Barbara, told detectives that her daughter had had a relationship with a
guy a few years older than her named Patrick.
She had a boyfriend at the time who had, they were kind of on a break because he was,
had moved to Mississippi, where he was from, and so he was there, but that they, that happened
He went out there in February.
That’s another thing that she had talked about was going to Mississippi.
A lot of people speculated, oh, maybe she, you know, packed up and was going to hitchhike
to Mississippi or something.
Detectives wasted no time in contacting Nikki’s maybe ex-boyfriend, Patrick, in Mississippi.
They connected with him over the phone, and he was shocked to learn that Nikki was even
He confirmed that he was hundreds of miles away from Colorado and had been for a few
Police asked him if Nikki was there with him, and he said no.
They also asked him if Nikki had mentioned coming to see him, and he said not recently.
Patrick told investigators that he’d moved to Mississippi in early 2014 because his grandpa
He said Nikki had broken up with him after his move because she didn’t want to do long
Patrick was 18, so not much older than Nikki, but he’d already graduated high school.
Patrick said that he and Nikki had texted briefly during the first few days of April
and that everything seemed fine with her, but they hadn’t spoken after April 8th.
He told detectives that he’d let them and her family know if she contacted him again,
and in fact, he was so concerned for her that he dropped everything he was doing in Mississippi
and went back to Colorado to help Nikki’s family search for her.
As detectives were continuing their investigation, Nikki’s family members started to hit the
streets with flyers trying to spread the word about her disappearance.
Nikki’s mom Barbara also spent time trying to think of anything that might help police,
anyone they could talk to, anywhere Nikki might have gone.
One other place popped up in her mind.
She mentioned to authorities that Nikki had a friend named Chandra who lived in Colorado
Springs, which is like two hours south of Longmont.
According to Barbara, before Nikki had left home to live with Dana and Allison, she tossed
around the idea of moving there.
So maybe Nikki had hitched a ride down there without letting anyone know?
But according to Detective Castellan, that lead never went anywhere.
She had talked with the friend in Colorado Springs and seemed to be considering moving
down there, but nothing really was set in stone.
Nikki had never told her any plans of running away or going anywhere.
She didn’t have any information on anybody that had it out for her, that wanted to harm
her or anything like that.
Like all the friends, they’re like, this is a crazy mystery.
There’s no idea what could have happened to her because she never talked about anything
that would give any clue as to why she would disappear.
And she seemed happy and content.
Within the first week of the investigation, right around when police learned Nikki’s
cousin Michelle had texted her on April 9th and didn’t get a response, they got a search
warrant for her phone records.
Investigators were hoping Nikki’s phone calls or text logs might clue them in on her
last location or conversations.
The records confirmed that the text from Michelle asking where Nikki was had been received
by Nikki’s phone on April 9th at 1227 p.m.
That message was the last text Nikki received before her phone either died or was turned
The rest of the records were unhelpful.
Turned out to be turned off.
So wherever that phone ended up, it was turned off fairly quickly.
No calls were, they got phone records, so no calls were made from it or anything to
it or from it shortly after that, like April 9th.
So that didn’t produce any leads.
The contents of all the other text messages authorities could see Nikki’s phone had
received or sent prior to April 9th seemed normal.
None of the messages indicated that she was making plans to leave her life in Longmont.
Police also checked Nikki’s bank statements to see if there had been any activity in her
Even though she was just 16, Nikki had her own account.
But Detective Castellan said that when police looked, they found that there was only a few
hundred dollars in it and no one had taken anything out of the account recently either.
So if Nikki had decided to just abandon her life and start fresh on her own, she had very
little cash to survive.
And again, what cash she had, she didn’t even take.
And those financial records were important because remember, Nikki had that paycheck
waiting for her at Pizza Plus.
It was for $265.
So if police weren’t already convinced that she had not just run away, this information
made them pretty sure that wasn’t the case.
They were slowly leaning more and more toward the theory that she had been abducted.
But there were also issues with that line of thinking.
Most notably, the tidy bedroom she’d left behind at Allison’s house.
If you’re going to abduct somebody, you’re not going to typically break into their house
and have them pack their stuff.
That’s a mystery that I can’t unravel.
It’s strange that if somebody forced her to leave, that’s just very, I don’t know, you
know, with two people sleeping in the house to go in and say, pack up all your stuff or
abduct her and then go in and take her stuff.
I don’t know, that’s strange.
Even though police couldn’t reconcile everything they’d learned about Nikki’s disappearance
with the evidence in front of them, the sheriff’s office decided to put out a press release
They sent out a missing persons poster for Nikki to local media outlets and asked anyone
who’d seen her to please call them.
The poster depicted what Nikki looked like at the time that she went missing with her
hair cut short and dyed bright red, though naturally she had light brown hair, rosy cheeks
and blue eyes.
The news of her case and her picture hit Colorado media publications pretty quickly after the
By April 20th, 11 days after anyone had last heard from her, tips started to come in from
across the state.
One man in Boulder told Weld County detectives that he’d seen Nikki hanging out with some
people in a homeless camp a week after she’d been reported missing.
Another woman in the nearby town of Johnstown called in to report a sighting of Nikki at
a fast food drive-thru.
One report said that Nikki had been spotted at a liquor store in Longmont.
Another said she’d been walking toward a park in town.
These leads were pursued, either by sending detectives to investigate them or by reviewing
surveillance videos, but they all amounted to dead ends.
In the meantime, police turned to her school to learn more about her, and counselors at
Mead High School where Nikki was a sophomore said that she maintained decent grades and
excelled in her classes.
The only nugget of interesting information that police got from interviewing some of
her teachers was that one of them said they’d signed Nikki up for a program where she could
get some clothing donations and things like that.
The teacher told investigators they’d made the effort for Nikki to receive that charity
because they felt like she could have used it.
We don’t know a ton about Nikki’s home life before she went to live with Dana, but
Detective Castellon said the Silvers’ family was middle class and able to provide for their
kids, so it’s interesting that a teacher would view Nikki as needing charity.
There were no reports of abuse or domestic violence at home, just a little bit of information
about Nikki not getting along with her parents to the point that she decided to move out.
Beyond that, there was no indication that things were extremely rough with Nikki’s
upbringing or that the Silvers did not have the means to provide for her.
Detective Castellon said in the first few days of the investigation, Nikki’s parents
seemed quote, appropriately concerned about their missing daughter.
There were no signs that Barbara and Kevin Silvers didn’t care about Nikki.
There were definitely signs that their relationship with her was strained, but something that
I find interesting is that even though police knew Nikki didn’t get along with her dad
Kevin, detectives in 2014 never actually brought him in for a formal sit-down interview.
He didn’t have any idea of where she might have gone.
He didn’t really talk about the issues that he had with her that was learned from friends.
I mean, she didn’t get along with mom or dad, but more so with dad.
I wish I knew more about Nikki’s relationship with her parents and why it was so bad that
she didn’t want to live under their roof, but Detective Castellon said it seemed more
like just normal teenage stuff.
Her just not wanting to follow their rules, especially, you know, she had a lot of, according
to friends, she had a lot of complaints about dad just always being around and making her
do chores and stuff that she didn’t want to do.
This passed without any other sightings of Nikki and 2014 turned into 2015.
The one-year anniversary of her disappearance came and went and little changed in the case.
During that time, there was no activity noted in her bank account or on her cell or social
The only tips that were still coming in were repeats that had already been investigated.
Then, in September 2016, a different law enforcement agency, the Longmont Police Department, came
across Nikki’s broken-down car, just a few miles away from where she was last seen.
On September 7th, 2016, a Longmont police officer was on patrol when he noticed a car
that had been abandoned at 19th Avenue and Logan Street in the city of Longmont.
According to the Longmont Police Department, it was near a house that was known for drug
Because of the location, the officer had been keeping an eye on the car for a few days.
When the car didn’t move after a few days, the officer was just like, okay, that’s
And he went up to the front door and asked the tenants about it.
The people living at the house said that the car had been broken down for a long time and
they weren’t even sure whose it was.
That’s when police ran the plates and saw that it belonged to Nicole Silvers.
In the officer’s report, he wrote, quote, a missing person is associated with the plate,
But for whatever reason, the Longmont Police Department did not notify the Weld County
Sheriff’s Office, which was the investigating agency in charge of Nikki’s case.
The car just sat in the impound lot at the city police department until an entire year
That’s when in September 2017, a detective at the Weld County Sheriff’s Office randomly
did a database search for the car and saw that it had been recovered a year before.
According to the towing company’s records, there was nothing of evidentiary value found
inside the car.
But I’m sure detectives with Weld County would have liked to make that determination
for themselves when it was found rather than a year later.
Now ultimately, after this year, they too weren’t able to get anything valuable from
But again, is that because there was nothing to begin with or that evidence was lost or
destroyed over time?
It was a question that just frustrated the investigators.
And ultimately, the car didn’t provide any clues as to where she was.
Weld County authorities questioned the men who lived at the house where the car had been
But when they showed them a photo of Nikki, none of them recognized her or thought she’d
ever been there.
The case went cold after that, with another year passing and no new leads.
Then in 2018, two different people happened to suggest the same theory that gave detectives
a whole new angle to investigate.
Maybe Nikki was still alive, but had just run off to join a communal living society
or be part of a commune.
The first person to suggest this was someone Nikki used to work with.
Somebody had mentioned that since Nikki was such a free spirit and liked music and was
kind of a hippie chick, that maybe she would have gone off and joined this group called
the Rainbow People.
Not long after that loose lead came in, another relative of Nikki suggested the same thing
to police, and even sent a photo that she saw online of the backside of a woman who’d
been photographed at a Rainbow People gathering.
They thought it could be Nikki.
The woman in the photo has blondish dreadlocks that are gathered in the back, and she’s
wearing a black tank top with a sweater tied around her waist.
She’s got gloves on and is holding some sort of metal bucket.
The reason Nikki’s relatives thought that the girl in the photo was Nikki was because
of one of Nikki’s ears.
It had a slight deformity.
According to investigators, it isn’t super noticeable, but one earlobe is slightly smaller
than the other.
Detective Castellan sent us the photo, but he prefaced it by saying he has no way of
confirming the woman in the photo is Nikki.
You can see that photo on our website and on our Instagram, but honestly, if you zoom
in on the photo, it’s too blurry to even really see this kind of detail.
Detective Castellan said even after looking into it, the woman could be anyone.
Anyway, the Rainbow People, also known as the Rainbow Family, are a group of people
who meet for summer gatherings on Forest Service land throughout the U.S. for annual campouts.
It’s not a cult because the family doesn’t have a leader or anyone that they worship,
and they aren’t associated with politics or any specific religion.
According to their unofficial website, they celebrate peace and love, and they gather
to pray for more of that in the world.
Detective Castellan confirmed for our team that the Rainbow People were in northern Colorado
in the spring of 2014.
They don’t have any organization to them.
They’re just a group of people, and I searched regional news stories for anything around
that time, and there had been a stabbing up by red feathers where the Rainbow People
were having their encampment.
It’s like an encampment and festival and concert and stuff, but it was a guy who stabbed another
Yeah, nothing coming up about, you know, any missing teenage girls.
As a theory, and it made sense because, yeah, I mean, most of her friends, when I talked
to them about that, about that possibility of her joining them, they were all like, oh,
yeah, she would’ve loved that, but, you know, she never talked about it and made plans for
Now, Detective Castellan has never ruled out the possibility of Nicky having run off with
the Rainbow family, but he’s also had no luck finding her in the group.
It wasn’t until 2019 when Detective Castellan officially took over Nicky’s case, and with
his fresh set of eyes, brought a big break in the case.
For the first time ever, he was able to identify and track down the owner of the mysterious
Oldsmobile that Dana and Allison had seen Nicky sitting in.
It turns out, when Nicky went missing in 2014, her older sister Jessica, who was estranged
from the family, was battling a heroin addiction, and Jessica had a 1988 Oldsmobile.
Not only that, when Castellan interviewed Jessica, he learned that she was with her
sister the night that Nicky vanished.
She said they went to Wendy’s and had a late dinner and then just did a lot of catching
up because they hadn’t seen each other in a long time.
The drugs were getting in the way of Jessie’s, Jessica’s life, which is why they hadn’t
seen each other in a while.
So I think it was during a moment of sobriety that she wanted to spend some time with Nicky.
In 2020, by the time Jessica had her first formal sit-down interview with the Weld County
Sheriff’s Office, she revealed to Detective Castellan that she was sober.
She went on to explain that the night Nicky vanished, she and her sister had been chatting
for hours in Allison and Dana’s driveway.
Jessica said they talked about life and boys and future plans.
Around 3 a.m., Jessica said Nicky went into Dana and Allison’s house and then she left.
Now this bit of information was a massive breakthrough in the case because for five
years no one knew whose car Nicky had been sitting in.
And not only that, Detective Castellan now had a brand new witness who could tighten
up the timeline leading up to Nicky’s disappearance.
The other really important thing that Jessica was able to clarify for investigators was
why Nicky’s car had been found broken down at the suspected drug house in Longmont.
Jessica said she had been the one to borrow it in late March or early April of 2014.
And when it had stopped being able to start, she’d just abandoned it there.
So those pieces of information did bring a little bit of clarity to the case because
they filled in some gaps.
But nothing Jessica said pointed directly to any clues as to what happened to Nicky
after she went back inside Dana and Allison’s house on April 9, 2014 around 3 a.m.
Jessica told Detective Castellan that her conversations with Nicky that night were normal.
She said Nicky had not mentioned any plans to move out of Dana’s house and didn’t mention
any plans to leave Longmont.
Jessica also told the detective that Nicky was not struggling with substance use issues
like she was back then.
She knew her sister to be a good student and a pretty responsible teenager.
She said Nicky only partied socially and they were never together when Jessica was
Also, I know what you’re thinking.
Why didn’t Jessica come forward with this information years earlier when it may have
actually been more useful?
Well, Detective Castellan said she was in a bad place back then.
And she said that’s why she hadn’t wanted to cooperate with police.
She was battling substance use issues alongside her boyfriend at the time, who actually ended
up later dying from an overdose.
Jessica claimed that her ongoing struggle with substance use in 2014 made her memories
fuzzy, and her entire attitude toward her sister’s situation apathetic.
It wasn’t till five years after her sister’s disappearance that she got clean and felt
ready to talk to Detective Castellan.
After learning everything he could from Jessica, Castellan re-interviewed everyone involved
in the original case.
Nicky’s parents, her ex-boyfriend Patrick, her friends, coworkers, Dana, and Allison.
He spent hours talking to each of them to be sure their statements hadn’t changed,
and to make sure that he had all the information.
Everyone reiterated what they’d originally said.
And despite so much time passing, no one had heard from or seen Nicky.
Detective Castellan came away from those interviews feeling conflicted about the evidence.
He doesn’t believe, based on what he knows from the people who loved her, that Nicky
was capable of harming herself.
She never had any previous suicide attempts, so that was ruled out.
And for him, the evidence just didn’t add up to her being a true runaway.
He thinks she would have said, hey, I think I want to move to California or Oregon or
But then, well, you put your guitar in your guitar case, you bring your phone charger
and you go get your last check.
Even if you didn’t want to make a big deal, maybe you don’t want to say goodbye to your
friends and family because it’ll be too sad.
So you’re just going to move and you’ll call them later while you get your last paycheck.
A stranger abduction is a theory that Castellan is not super sold on entirely, considering
Nicky appeared to have packed up her things and left.
But her tidy room doesn’t rule out abduction completely.
Detective Castellan believes in his gut that something bad happened to Nicky, and that
she likely went with someone willingly before things turned deadly.
I think she was probably with somebody that she somewhat trusted enough to get her stuff
out of the house, into the vehicle with this person.
And then, yeah, she just forgot her guitar case and charger and then probably thought,
OK, well, I’ll just go back for that.
But now this person’s done something to me.
In the fall of 2020, Detective Castellan got assistance from a local dive team, and
they searched a lake at Lou Miller Park in Longmont.
There hadn’t been a tip connected to the park, but that lake is just a stone’s throw
away from Dana and Allison’s house.
The search was just an effort the investigators felt like they needed to take in order to
rule out a theory that maybe Nicky accidentally drowned in that lake or something.
The search took almost six hours, but they didn’t find any human remains.
In order to keep the investigation active, Detective Castellan does weekly online checks
for anything associated with the case or the case evidence.
He looks for her guitar to see if it’s been pawned anywhere.
He doesn’t have a serial number, but he knows the make and model.
Nothing has come of that yet, but he still checks all the time.
He also has Nicky’s dental records and her DNA from a hairbrush she left at her parents'
house, so he does weekly searches in databases for unidentified remains around the country.
For young women that match her build and profile.
In November 2021, a young woman’s remains were discovered in California.
So Detective Castellan did a DNA test against that, but it turned out not to be Nicky.
Nicky’s disappearance continues to baffle her friends, family members, and investigators.
The fact that she was last seen with her sister, and her sister said that she saw Nicky go
back inside the house that night, and that Dana and Allison never heard her come in or
leave or anything, it’s all left so many questions unanswered.
How does someone go missing from inside a small one-story house while people are home?
It’s a major mystery.
It’s so bizarre that, you know, during that short timeframe she would disappear like that.
There are a lot of people out there who miss Nicky Silvers.
The spunky, free-spirited teenager brought a lot of joy to people in her life, and her
absence is still felt.
She would have turned 25 last week.
Nicky is described as 5 foot 8 inches tall and weighed 135 pounds when she went missing
eight years ago.
If you know anything about Nicky’s whereabouts or what happened to her, please call the Weld
County Colorado Sheriff’s Office at 970-400-2827.
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