July 3, 2007 — -- More than 10 days after a 22-year-old college student went missing, police continue to search for the woman who virtually vanished from a downtown campus.
Kelly Nolan, a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student who was planning to take advantage of part-time job opportunities at the university's main campus in Madison this summer, was last seen in the early morning hours of June 23 in the downtown area.
April Nolan, Kelly's sister, said that Kelly split up from friends around 11:30 p.m. on June 22. Kelly, said her sister, wanted to stay out longer, but her friends were anxious to leave. While the sisters did speak via telephone later that evening, Kelly's whereabouts from that point on remain a mystery.
Friends and family who know Kelly say that it's not like her to just disappear.
"She's so conscientious," April said in an interview with ABC News. "She would know that she would have hundreds of people worrying and wondering."
"She wouldn't just disappear," her sister said. "It's completely out of her character. She's responsible and has goals in her life."
April described her sister as "extremely social" and "very free-spirited." Kelly is on track to begin her final year in school as a communications major.
Joel DeSpain, the public information officer for the Madison Police Department, said that investigators were treating this like any other missing-person case, following leads called into the tip line and reviewing surveillance tapes from establishments to hunt for clues about where Kelly may be.
One of those places may be State Street Brats, a popular downtown bar that police say Kelly may have visited that Friday night.
Brats is located on Madison's State Street, the main drag that hosts most of the bars frequented by students. One of the most popular hangouts in the area, Brats has an outdoor patio and drink specials — and is known for Flip Night, where customers flip a coin to determine whether they will receive a discount price on their drink. The promotion never fails to attract swarms of college students on any given night.
Officers have also walked along the shore lines and conducted cursory dives in Lake Mendota, one of two lakes that surround the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. Lake Mendota's shores fall on the perimeter of UW-Madison's student union.
No matter what the speculations may be, Megan Janeaway, a UW-Madison student who worked with Kelly and is helping with her search, said that the outpouring among members of the community had been remarkable.
"I know the whole community is really touched by this," Janeaway said in an interview with ABC News. "It's a tight community and people immediately want to help."
Janeaway says that there are fliers plastered around Madison and that people have written from surrounding cities asking how they can help. Local businesses also have volunteered to produce missing-person fliers with Kelly's image for free.
April and her three other sisters have created Facebook groups dedicated to finding Kelly. One group had more than 1,500 members as of press time. Candlelight vigils and prayer services were also organized for her.
They urge anyone with any information to call Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6914.