Why Did Erika Flores Leave Dr. Quinn?

The following is a letter from Tim Johnson (producer of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman) regarding Erika Flores departure from the series.

Dear Viewers:

Over the past several months we have received numerous letters regarding the re-casting of "Colleen" on our show. When this change occured, we released a statement to the affect of, "Unwilling to commit to 5 years, Erika Flores is leaving the series to pursue other interests." Well, its now over one year and, the fact remains that Erika Flores left the show to pursue other interests. Now, what are those other interests? I can tell you its primarily school. She's auditioned for movies, but her primary focus, to our knowledge, is school. Afterall, she's only 16 years old. The events leading up to her decision to leave the show did include CBS's request that she sign a 5 year contract. Erika did not want to commit to that extended period of time, and CBS would not allow it (all the series regulars, including Jane Seymour, are required to sign a 5 year contract.) We, as producers of the show, were able to convince CBS to double Erika's salary in an attempt to keep her on the show. But she still was unwilling to commit to 5 years. This being the case, we had no other choice but to replace her. I hope that this will help clarify your questions about Erika Flores. She remains a very close freind of the show, often visiting the set for lunch, and we wish her all the best in her future pursuits. Tim Johnson Producer "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman