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Published: Monday, 11/11/2002

Mom takes search for Lima girl to psychic

LIMA, Ohio - More than three years after her teenage daughter Nicholle disappeared, Krista Coppler refuses to give up hope of finding her.

Mrs. Coppler talks to police almost daily about Nicholle, who was 14 on May 15, 1999, when she left her home for Saturday school. The girl never showed up, and officers have no current leads on her.

Nicholle's face has been plastered on billboards around town and printed on postcards sent to homes around the country, with little apparent impact.

Now Mrs. Coppler hopes a psychic and a nationally syndicated television show can shed some light on the mystery. Tomorrow, the Lima woman will fly to New York to meet with psychic Sylvia Browne, who is a regular guest on The Montel Williams Show.

The program plans to do a segment on Nicholle's disappearance, which will air sometime in the next two to four weeks, according to Mrs. Coppler and Lima police.

Yesterday, a crew from the show was in Lima to interview Mrs. Coppler, talk to family members, and shoot local footage.

“I'm just hoping we can get some answers,” Mrs. Coppler said. “I'm keeping my fingers crossed.”

During a recent episode of the show, viewers were asked to call in with information about missing-person cases. A friend of Mrs. Coppler's saw the program and told her. Mrs. Coppler phoned the show's producers, who arranged for a taping.

Lima police investigator Jeff Kinkle, who has been pursuing Nicholle's case since August, 2001, said the TV exposure for Nicholle's case might provide some new leads to a trail that's gone cold.

“We're hoping that with some national media coverage, that someone will recognize her picture or something and be able to lead us to where she may be or what's happened to her,” Mr. Kinkle said.

As for Ms. Browne, the investigator said his experience with psychics is “absolutely none,” but he added, “I'm just as willing to listen to what she has to say as anybody else. Nobody involved in the case thinks it could hurt anything.”

More than two years after the teen disappeared, her family's hopes of finding her were raised when Lima police arrested a man they believe was involved in her disappearance.

Glenn Fryer, 55, was arrested Aug. 30, 2001, and charged with multiple counts of rape and child pornography involving local girls. Police found photos of Nicholle and her student identification card in Fryer's home.

Fryer pleaded no contest to four counts of rape and agreed to give police information about Nicholle as part of a plea bargain. But he hanged himself Feb. 18 in the Allen County jail without telling what he knew about her disappearance.

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