It's been almost two years since Denver's Kelsie Jean Schelling vanished in Pueblo shortly after learning she was pregnant. But despite the passage of time, her family, friends and loved ones remain dedicated to finding out what happened to her and whether she met with foul play -- and they've scheduled a march on the anniversary of her disappearance to raise awareness and encourage law enforcement to keep working the case. Photos, videos and more below.
See also: Kelsie Jean Schelling: Billboards, Search Party Focus on Missing, Pregnant Denver Woman, published May 2013
As we've reported, Schelling, then 21, was last seen on February 4, 2013. The photos and writings shared at the Help Find Kelsie Facebook page portray her as a member of a loving family and a person of deep faith. An example of the latter can be seen in this photo....
...and accompanying text, which reads:
Kelsie, being a very spiritual and faith-filled person, maintains a running list of favorite Bible verses. Her Bible, filled with fluorescent highlights and personal footnotes, contains her reflections as she continues to pursue her Faith. She would be overwhelmed with the kindness of people and their efforts to find her. So we'd like to share something of hers with you. Please keep Kelsie in your prayers as we continue to bring her home. We cannot afford to stop searching for a person that has such love for her family and friends, and who is inclusive of all.
About ten days after Schelling went missing, the accompanying Help Find Kelsie website noted that her car, a Chevrolet Cruze, was located in the parking lot of St. Mary Corwin hospital in Pueblo. Here's a Google map image showing the location:
The following month, the Pueblo Police Department put out photos showing shots of the car circa February 5 and 6 from somewhere else -- the parking lot of an area Walmart. More concerningly, the images depict a male getting into the car and driving it away. Here are the four images shared by the PPD:
Pueblo officers subsequently announced that they had searched for Schelling in various parts of the city using canines "specialized in searching for missing persons." But no breakthroughs emerged.
Then, at an April news conference, Schelling's family revealed new information about the pregnancy that motivated her drive to Pueblo, as well as details about her boyfriend.
According to Laura Saxton, Schelling's mother, her daughter got confirmation of her pregnancy on February 4, 2013. Doctor's records confirm that she was eight weeks pregnant, with the presumed father being her boyfriend, Donthe Lucas, who played basketball for Northeastern Junior College.
"Cell phone records show that Kelsie sent picture messages of her ultrasound pictures taken that day to family members and also to Donthe and his mother," Saxton said at an April 2013 press conference. "Cell phone records also show that Donthe asked Kelsie to come to Pueblo when she got off of work that night because he needed to speak with her in person.
"We know that Kelsie made it to Pueblo and did meet up with Donthe," Saxton continued. "No one has seen or heard from her since."
A timeline of the events in the case, as shared on the Help Find Kelsie Facebook page. Click to enlarge.
Does Saxton believe Lucas played a role in Schelling's disappearance? "We are not satisfied with Donthe's original account of the events leading up to Kelsie's disappearance," she said, adding, "We are informed that he has since refused to speak with the Pueblo Police Department."
In the time since then, Schelling's loved ones have staged numerous events and organized searches in Pueblo in an effort to keep the case on the radar of the public and police -- and those efforts continue in advance of the second anniversary of her disappearance. Supporters are staging a justice walk on February 7 in Pueblo, as noted in this Facebook graphic:
Click to enlarge.
Another Facebook graphic encourages Pueblo police officers to demonstrate their solidarity with the family's efforts in the days leading up to the march:
Look below to see two videos -- one from a March 2013 press conference, the other representing 9News coverage from shortly thereafter. That's followed by a flier offering details about the February 7 justice walk in honor of Kelsie and her unborn child, called Kadrie.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.