The boyfriend of Kelsie Schelling, a Denver woman who went missing in February 2013, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death, police said Friday.
Donthe Lucas, 25, was already in jail on unrelated robbery charges when he was served with the arrest warrant Friday for Kelsie’s murder. He is now being held without bond.
Police said because the investigation remains active, they are not releasing any more information about what led to the arrest.
Schelling, 21, was eight weeks pregnant when she disappeared February 4, 2013 after driving from Denver to Pueblo. She was supposed to meet Lucas, her boyfriend at the time, at the Walmart on Northern Avenue.
“When I stop and really think about it, of course I’m thankful for this,” Schelling’s mom, Laura Saxton, said of the arrest. “I know that this is the first stop in a really long process, but the main thing is we still don’t have Kelsie back, so it’s kind of a victory, but it’s a pretty empty victory. What our family needs more than anything is to be able to bring her home.”
This arrest comes after Pueblo Police Department Captain Kenny Rider said police felt confident enough to make an arrest.
“We definitely hit a turning point with CBI becoming involved and new people [at Pueblo PD] that has made a huge difference,” Saxton said. “We are very, very grateful for that.”
Lucas was a person of interest in the case for nearly five years.
“I myself have no doubt that he is the one responsible,” Saxton said. “Kelsie cared a lot about him. She gave a lot to him. He took a lot from her. ”
For the past several months, investigators have been searching multiple locations in Pueblo, following up on leads about her disappearance. Police said they found evidence in the yard of a home on Manor Ridge Drive that was previously associated with Lucas, but would not say what the evidence was. They did say it was not a body.
“I mostly want people to know, she has not been found,” Saxton said. “This will be convicted as a no-body prosecution.”
Saxton said she hopes to be at every hearing, but said nothing really has changed.
“Because we don’t have her, I’ve never–I always made it pretty clear that is what I need,” Saxton said. “I need to bring her home, in order to have any peace in my heart.”