Missing Student May Have Been Porn Star
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
EL DORADO, Kan. A missing Kansas college student believed to be the victim of foul play apparently led a double life as an Internet porn star by the name of Zoey Zane.
Nude photos of 18-year-old Emily Sander appeared on a Zoey Zane Web site before she vanished, and investigators are looking into whether her modeling had anything to do with her disappearance last Friday.
"She enjoyed it. She is a young teenage girl and she wanted to be in the movies and enjoyed movies. She needed the extra money," Nikki Watson, a close friend of Sander's at Butler Community College, told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "Nobody in El Dorado knew besides her close friends."
Sander's brother, Jacob Sander, confirmed that the nude woman pictured on the site is his sister.
El Dorado Police Chief Tom Boren said FBI and state experts on Internet crime have been called in.
"Investigators are aware that Miss Sander was apparently involved in a Web site situation," he said. "Allegations that this may factor into her disappearance are being thoroughly investigated."
Sander was last seen leaving a bar in El Dorado, about 30 miles from Wichita, with a man identified as Israel Mireles, 24, authorities said. Sander and Mireles had met that night at the bar, according to Watson.
After Mireles did not show up Saturday at his job at an Italian restaurant, his employer went to the motel room where he was staying.
"His motel room was found to appear in great disarray, and a large quantity of blood was found in the room," Boren said. "Bed clothing was found to be missing. The police were called."
A nationwide manhunt was under way for Mireles and his 16-year-old girlfriend. A rental car he had been driving turned up Tuesday in Texas, where he had family. Those relatives have been interviewed, El Dorado Detective Justin Phillips said, but he declined to say whether they had seen Mireles or knew where he was.
On Tuesday, authorities released a photo of a white bedspread with a floral design and asked for the public's help in locating it. Divers searched a reservoir near El Dorado on Wednesday.
"Our hopes kind of diminish each day we don't hear from her," the police chief said.
Sander recently signed a contract for the pornographic work on the Web site, and told her parents about it on Thanksgiving, Watson said. Her boyfriend broke up with her because he did not approve, Watson said.
"What you are telling me now is things we have never been told or heard," said Sander's grandmother, Shirley Sander. "I don't know what to say. We have never heard anything like this, and truthfully, I don't believe it."
The Web site had some 30,000 subscribers who paid $39.95 a month to visit the site, said David Thomas, the site's designer, who works for a Florida-based videography and photography business. The free teaser pictures of Sander and other women are very tame compared with the videos and pictures that come with subscription to the site, he said.
"She actually was one of the highest-climbing Web sites I had ever seen," Thomas said. "It was amazing; it was incredible."
The site's owner lives in Florida. Its administrator did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Under Sander's contract with the Wichita-based company that hired her, she would be paid 45 percent of subscription revenues, Thomas said.
But Sander initially got just 5 percent of monthly revenues, with the rest going into an escrow account to be paid after she fulfilled the contract. Thomas said that is how contracts are enforced in the pornography industry.
"Money is the lure," Thomas said.
Watson said she does not believe Sander's pornography work had anything to do with the disappearance.
"Nobody even knew about this until one of our close friends came out and told everybody because Emily did not want anybody to know," Watson said.
The brown-haired, blue-eyed Sander was last seen wearing low-rider jeans and a "Don't Mess With Texas" T-shirt. She has tattoos and body piercings.
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