Last week, authorities in Pueblo conducted a three-day search for evidence in the case of Kelsie Schelling, a Denver woman who went missing more than four years ago after learning she was pregnant. Despite what were described in advance of the operation as new leads, no major breakthroughs were made. But Schelling's loved ones have a renewed sense of purpose in regard to solving the mystery of her disappearance, and they promise the person or persons responsible that their resolve remains solid.
An excerpt from a post on the Help Find Kelsie Facebook page shared Saturday, November 11, and on view in its entirety below reads: "To the guilty (you know who you are), we are not going away and we never will!"
As we've reported, Schelling was last seen on February 4, 2013, when she was 21. About ten days after Schelling disappeared, her car, a Chevrolet Cruze, was located in the parking lot of St. Mary-Corwin hospital in Pueblo.
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.
Pueblo officers subsequently announced that they had looked 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, Donthe Lucas.
According to Laura Saxton, Schelling's mother, her daughter got confirmation of her pregnancy on the day she vanished. Doctor's records show that she was eight weeks pregnant, with the presumed father being 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.
According to Saxton, "We know that Kelsie made it to Pueblo and did meet up with Donthe. No one has seen or heard from her since."
Donthe has never been charged in the case, but he's continued to be a focus of the investigation, which began heating up again this year. In April, for instance, the back yard of his former residence, at 5113 Manor Ridge Drive, was excavated by a team from the Pueblo Police Department, with spokespersons saying items of evidentiary value were unearthed. Weeks later, crews dug up a field not far from the residence as well; in that instance, nothing new related to Schelling's disappearance was found.
Then, at 6:25 a.m. on June 16, members of the Pueblo Fire Department responded to reports of a fire at the home, which is no longer occupied by members of the Lucas family. Afterward, the matter was handed over to the Pueblo Police Department, which noted in a release that "we're investigating the fire as a possible arson. At this point, there is nothing to suggest that the fire is connected with the Kelsie Schelling case, but we are not ruling out anything until the investigation is complete."
Then, on November 7, the new round of searches was announced. At the end of three days, no stunning new clues were uncovered. Optimism sparked on Friday, November 10, when a dog that was being used to hunt for forensic data alerted in an area near the confluence of Fountain Creek and the Arkansas River. However, the remains turned out to be that of an animal.
Nonetheless, the Help Find Kelsie summation of the week's events is filled with gratitude, not bitterness, for the efforts of police and volunteers. Continue to read it — and to see a photo of Saxton that accompanies it. Note that Kadrie is the name by which Schelling's loved ones refer to the child with which she was pregnant.
Help Find Kelsie Facebook post, November 11, 2017
Neal and I, along with Doug, Tess and all of Kelsie's family, wish to thank everyone involved in the intensive search effort that occurred this week in areas around Pueblo.
There were so many people involved that it is impossible to name them all individually, but there are a few we would like to give special thanks to. They are the ones who have rejuvenated the investigation into Kelsie's disappearance. Agent Kevin Torres of CBI, who sleeps, eats and breathes this investigation on a daily basis. I don't know what we would do without Kevin. Captain Eric Bravo of PPD, who initiated much of the change that has taken place at PPD. He has not been afraid to admit that changes needed to be made and acted on them. Chief Troy Davenport of PPD, who recently took over the position of Police Chief. He has promised to us his dedication to Kelsie and has been physically participating. This is a very welcome change after what we experienced with the prior Chief.
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We thank CBI, PPD, FBI, Necrosearch, Frank and Radar, for the valuable resources they have supplied in the searches for Kelsie and their involvement on a daily basis in Kelsie's investigation. We are so grateful to you all and with your continued involvement, we know we will find Kelsie and justice will be served.
Thank you to the media for your involvement. Without you, we couldn't keep Kelsie's story alive. It didn't go unnoticed all the hours you spent standing out in the cold with us.
Finally, to those who have come forward with information, we thank you. We know that fear has been prevalent and keeps many with information from coming forward. We haven't found Kelsie yet, but the information that you provide is very important. Thank you for your bravery.
I hope I haven't overlooked anyone. We appreciate everyone who has been a part of helping us to find Kelsie. It has been a very emotional few days and will take a bit to gain our bearings again, but we will and we will continue this fight until there is resolution. To the guilty (you know who you are), we are not going away and we never will! We will be permanent fixtures in your lives until you decide to tell the truth. We can hold out longer than you can because our love for Kelsie and Kadrie is stronger than you are.