Details of Disappearance
Nikle was last seen in downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota on October 3, 1996. That night she went out and played bingo with a friend, and reportedly won $500. She has never been heard from again. Her father reported her missing one week later, on October 10.
It's uncharacteristic of Nikle to leave without warning or to be away from home for longer than a night or two. Police originally believed she left of her own accord, but now foul play is suspected in her disappearance.
There is some speculation that Nikle might have become a victim of a serial killer of mentally disabled women. The man suspected, Floyd Todd Tapson, was once the supervisor of several group homes for developmentally disabled individuals, including one Nikle had frequented.
In 2003, Tapson was convicted of kidnapping, raping and shooting a mentally handicapped Montana woman. She survived; he was sentenced to 75 years in prison. Tapson was allegedly seen in a car with Nikle two days after she disappeared. She had also bragged about having a boyfriend named "Todd."
When questioned about Nikle's disappearance in prison, Tapson denied any involvement in her case. However, he has not been ruled out as a suspect and authorities stated his story was inconsistent and some of what he told the police was later proven to be untrue. Tapson was also considered a possible suspect in the disappearance of Carla Anderson
, a mildly mentally disabled woman who vanished from Minnesota in 1987, but he was cleared from that case after being interviewed by investigators.
Shortly before her disappearance, Nikle had told the police about two neighbors who had been selling drugs. Her father thinks her disappearance may have been retalitation for her information, but there is no evidence to support this.
No one has been charged in connection with Nikle's disappearance; her case remains unsolved.