Megan Paige Nichols Age 15 August 17, 1982 - July 3, 2014 Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois


Months prior to Megan’s disappearance, Megan had been dating a guy older than her, something her mother wouldn’t approve. When her mother, Kathy Jo Hutchcraft found text messages between them, she took away Megan’s phone. When things settled down, and it was believed this boyfriend was gone, Megan got her phone back. July 3, 2014 Megan was with her mother with plans to run errands. They were supposed to go shopping, but Megan suddenly said she felt sick and just wanted to go home and go to bed. It is unknown if Megan got a message on her phone, or if she was in fact sick. Kathy Jo headed back to the house and dropped her off. She was only gone about an hour. It was about 11:00 P.M. when Kathy Jo returned home she realized Megan was gone. When she realized Megan really was gone and something was wrong, Kathy Jo went to file a missing persons report. According to the mother, there was nothing they really could do. She hadn’t been gone long. Really? She’s a teenager. They should have filed a report and started looking for her. I hope today they regret that decision. There was no Amber Alert. There was no bells and whistles. She was considered a runaway. The phone was left behind in her room after it had been factory reset. This means, all records of any occurrences on that phone were wiped out, including phone calls, texts, videos and pictures. All activity. Everything wiped out. The phone records however show that the last calls from Megan’s phone were to that boyfriend. The note ‘I love you, but I will never be happy here. Don’t look for me.’ Digging deeper, a video was seen at their bank of Megan at the bank alone on her bicycle withdrawing money. This transaction occurred the same day, July 3 about 2:00 P.M. Kathy Jo, however, sees that video more than just Megan at the ATM. The background, she says, shows the boyfriend in the background. More, she said at the very end of that video, after Megan walks away from the ATM you can see the boyfriends car pulling away. The police reported they did not see a car in the video. Many searches were created by family, individuals and law enforcement through the years. I must admit, that I don’t recall ever hearing where the live in step dad was at the time of Megan’s disappearance, why he wouldn’t have been home, or why he wouldn’t have been with the mother on her errands. Of course, while he easily could have been at work or anywhere else, his alibi, I do not know. Megan was seeing a young man that had a different girlfriend at the same time.  He was 18 and Megan was 15. Mom made Megan break off the relationship, but Megan continued contact with him until Kathy Jo took her phone away. Memorial Day weekend when Kathy Jo checks on Megan in her room, she was gone but left her phone. When her mom reviews the texts,  One text was from the boyfriend. They were still in contact. As Kathy Jo is on the phone with the police, Megan walked thru the door. They boyfriend made a Facebook post in regard to Megan’s disappearance. ‘Okay, this has gone on long enough… I had nothing to do with this and that I have nothing to hide… I am not in the video as she withdrew her money and ran from her family… this is the first time I have spoken up to defend myself, I shouldn’t even have to defend myself if I am not involved.’ Police stated that he was not a suspect. Megan’s father at the time lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was not supposed to be with Megan. Moreover, he was at the time a registered sex offender, naturally giving way to being questioned for two reasons. One of course was could he have done something to her because of his legal status, but of course, Megan may very well want to go and be with her dad, if she really was having issues at home. Now, he had warrants out against him. Jackson Nichols was picked up by the U.S. Marshalls His sex offense was from 1997 when he was eighteen years old and dated a fourteen year old girl. The mother found out and called the police. He was charged with two counts of non-violent sexual assault. He had to register for ten years. Jackson was ruled out as a suspect. It would take another three and a half years to find Megan. December 26, 2017 remains were found in shallow grave, a very remote wooded area south of Boyleston in Wayne County, the same county, not far from Megan’s home. These remains were wrapped in a blanket. Jacque Beck and her boyfriend Carl Vaugn discovered a skull and bones in a field. Interestingly, they knew the Nichols family. They knew Megan. It seems Carl was preparing to cut firewood in the area when he stumbled upon the remains. January 26, 2018 the remains were identified as Megan Nichols. It is believed that Megan never left the area. Moreover, it is believed there was in fact foul play. There have been no details from law enforcement regarding the investigation since her remains have been found. A GoFundMe account raised $2,890 for funeral expenses. Her mother wrote: I would like to thank everyone for their continued support & prayers! I will be shutting down this GoFundMe acct very soon. Thank you again. Megan was very loved! Any other donations will go toward a memorial shelter that will be built in memory of Megan. One thing is certain. Someone knows something. She did not die then put herself in that blanket. Whatever happened to her can only be known via any evidence law enforcement has, and the person(s) that wrapped Megan in that blanket. Whether she chose to walk away to be with someone or not, she did not intend to be where she was found. If you have any information, please. It’s time now to come forward and tell the truth. Please contact the Federal Bureau of Investigations at (217) 522-9675 or the Fairfield Police Department at (618) 842-2151.


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