Missing Person Gema Arias, 15, Home Safe After "Alleged" Kidnapping

Last week, we told you about a new clue in one of Pueblo's longest-running missing person cases — the disappearance of Kelsie Schelling in 2013, shortly after she learned she was pregnant.

Specifically, the Pueblo Police Department obtained security footage showing a vehicle driven by a man who allegedly stole a series of signs asking for information about the case.

Thus far, there have been no reports of an arrest in the sign-theft matter — and no confirmation that the person behind it had anything to do with Schelling vanishing.

In the meantime, there's happier news regarding another missing person: Gema Arias, age fifteen.

On May 20, a week after her last sighting, the PPD put out a bulletin for her along with information suggesting that she'd been kidnapped.

Now, however, she's home safe — and the department is referring to the kidnapping as "alleged."

Here's an excerpt from the Pueblo Police Department's May 20 release:
On Friday, May 13th, Gema Arias (15) was reported as a runaway after failing to return home after
school. Gema attends Central High School and lives with her grandmother not far from the school.

On Thursday, May 19th, relatives of Gema began receiving messages via social media, apparently
from Gema, saying that she had been kidnapped and was being held hostage.

Gema is described as 5’4”, 100 lbs. and was last seen wearing black tights and a black shirt. Gema
does have relatives in the Denver Metro area. The FBI has been contacted and are working in
conjunction with the Pueblo Police Department on this investigation.
Then, yesterday evening, the PPD Facebooked and tweeted the following update: "Missing Juvenile Gema Arias has returned home and is safe. The investigation into her alleged kidnapping is still under investigation."

Many of those who've commented about Arias's reappearance on the department's Facebook page zeroed in on the phrase "alleged kidnapping."

But no matter what happened, Arias's return provides the type of relief for her loved ones that those in Kelsie Schelling's orbit have been seeking for years.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts