Body Found in Missing University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Student’s Car That Was Pulled From River

Friday, July 27, 2007

GREEN BAY, Wis. —  A car that a college student was driving before she vanished two weeks ago was pulled from a river near downtown Green Bay on Thursday, and a woman’s body was in it, authorities said.

An autopsy will be conducted Friday to identify the body and determine a cause of death, Green Bay Police Chief Jim Arts said.

Brown County Medical Examiner Al Klimek said preliminary indications suggest an accidental death with no sign of foul play. The body’s condition was “consistent with being submerged for 13 days,” he said.

Click here to view a video report from MyFoxNEWisconsin.com

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay student Mahalia Xiong, 21, disappeared early July 13 after a night out with friends at a bowling alley and a sports bar.

Xiong was last seen about 2 a.m. getting into a white 1996 four-door Mercury Sable and driving off alone, authorities said.

An officer spotted tire tracks headed toward the Fox River about 8 a.m. Thursday, leading divers to find the car in 25 feet of water, police said.

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Kelly Nolan:Coroner Indicates Body Found is ‘Probably’ That of Missing Wisconsin Coed

Monday, July 09, 2007

FITCHBURG, Wis. —  Investigators believe a female body found Monday is that of a college student who vanished last month after a night out at the bars in Madison.

Police searching an area 10 miles south of Madison found the body on private property in a heavily wooded area dotted with homes.

Dane County Coroner John Stanley said the body was tentatively identified as 22-year-old Kelly Nolan, and Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said the case had changed from a missing-persons investigation into a homicide probe.

A formal identification may not come until Tuesday or Wednesday. Stanley said investigators had yet to get a “detailed, up-close” look at the body, which was covered up in a very densely wooded area, but preliminary evidence suggests it is Nolan.

Police spokesman Joel DeSpain declined to describe the condition of the body, but said it was obvious to detectives that the person had been slain.

Wray said cell-phone technology led police to mount a massive search Monday morning in the area where the body was found. The search focused on a 3-square-mile area around Fitchburg that included part of the neighboring village of Oregon, just off U.S. Highway 14.

Investigators were taking their time with the search for evidence because the area was so large and the death scene was described as complex. Stanley said investigators haven’t even touched the body yet.

“The cover is fairly thick,” he said. “It’s another reason that we have to move slowly. There may be things that we might step on or disturb by just going in there.”

DeSpain said that he was not aware of any specific suspects in Nolan’s disappearance and that the area was one of several areas identified during the investigation as worth searching.

Nolan, a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student from the Madison area, had been living in a Madison apartment for the summer and was last seen early June 23 after a night out with friends at bars.

She left the group before midnight.

Police have interviewed people who saw and spoke with Nolan at several downtown bars after that. Nolan also spoke to her sister by phone after midnight.

A cafe employee reported seeing Nolan early on June 23 and walked her toward her home until they ran into another man who said he knew Nolan, according to Tom Paras, the owner of Amy’s Cafe.

Two days later, when the employee learned of Nolan’s disappearance, he called police with the information, Paras said.

Police said the area where the body was found had been searched before, but not to the extent it was on Monday morning. Dogs trained to recognize Nolan’s scent were involved in the latest search, which also involved more than 100 police officers, several agencies and volunteers.

The area is well-known to people who ride horses in the area, DeSpain said.

Nolan’s sister, 20-year-old April, described Kelly as fun-loving and creative, but said she had been going through a tough time since the deaths of their father in 2006 and their stepmother in May.

Nolan didn’t get the summer job she had hoped to find when she returned from school, and she had worked at a restaurant for about a week in June before being fired the Wednesday before she disappeared.

In the spring, Nolan served 14 days in jail after pleading guilty to driving under the influence as a second offense.

Nolan’s family announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to her return. But family members stayed out of the spotlight on Monday.

Nolan’s disappearance evoked memories of another woman, Angela Drake, who disappeared after going home with a man she met in a Fitchburg bar in 2005. Her body was found frozen in a culvert.

Michael Desalvo, the man Drake left with, is serving 25 years in prison for her death.

Monday’s news conferences were held in the basement of Holy Mother of Consolation church in Oregon, where Drake’s family attends Mass. Pastor Bill Connell said the Drakes were in church Sunday praying for the Nolan family.

“We went through this two years ago with Angela Drake’s murder,” said Connell, who performed Drake’s funeral. “It’s a tragic experience. There’s no explanation for it. But when the community gathers around, that’s a sign they’re giving support at a critical time.”

Kelly Nolan – Missing Student Was Dealing With Issues Prior To Disappearance

UPDATED: 12:13 pm CDT July 6, 2007

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student missing for two weeks has been dealing with the recent deaths of her father and stepmother.

April Nolan is the sister of Kelly Nolan, 22, who vanished on June 23 when she became separated from friends after hitting some bars on State Street in downtown Madison.

April Nolan said that her and her sister’s stepmother died in May and their father died last year.

Kelly Nolan graduated from Waunakee High School and is described as a good student with a pleasant personality, who played sports and was fun-loving and creative.

But, Nolan also had her troubles. She was convicted of drunken driving twice in the last three years. Her driver’s license had been suspended, and she served 14 days in the Walworth County Jail after her second drunken driving offense.

Nolan planned to work in Madison for the summer. She worked at the Orpheum Lobby Restaurant on State Street for about a week in June, but she was apparently fired the Wednesday before she disappeared. The owner said that she didn’t have enough experience for the job.

Earlier this week, her family announced an unspecified reward for information regarding her disappearance.

Nolan is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair. Her sister said that on Saturday night, Kelly Nolan was wearing a green, sleeveless top with a scoop neck, a light pair of jeans and sandals with a heel and was carrying a slate gray purse.

Family and friends spent the Fourth of July holiday passing out fliers at Elver Park as part of their ongoing effort to get the word out about the missing 22-year-old, WISC-TV reported.

Nolan’s family and police are continuing to urge people to phone in tips to Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

Hunt Intensifies for Missing Wisconsin Student, Kelly Nolan

Cops Look at Bar’s Surveillance Video in Wisconsin College Student’s Disappearance

Saturday, June 30, 2007 – Fox News

MADISON, Wis. —  Police searching for a missing 22-year-old female college student are scouring surveillance video from the bar where she was last seen, according to WKOW.The footage was recorded between 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, and 1 a.m. on Sunday, June 24, at State Street Brats, the tavern where Nolan was out with a group of friends until she left them at around 11:30 p.m. She hasn’t been seen since. The bar is said to have been holding several hundred people.

Click here to read the WKOW report.

Nolan’s younger sister said the two women had a phone conversation early Saturday morning, and that was the last anyone had heard from her, said Joel DeSpain, public relations officer for the Madison Police Department. The family said they knew something was wrong when she wasn’t in touch for so long, DeSpain said, saying that the sisters rarely went a day without talking on the phone.Nolan, originally from Waunakee, had recently bought an apartment and moved to Madison from Whitewater, where she went to school.

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