PUEBLO, Colo. — Kelsie Schelling, a woman from northern Colorado who went missing in Pueblo in 2013, will now always have a place in the Steel City.
Sunday, Kelsie’s family and the community dedicated a bench in honor of her and her unborn child.
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die,” said Laura Saxton, Kelsie’s mother. “Kelsie will always live on in our hearts and doing things like creating this memorial for her, her memory will continue to live on.”
Eight years after Kelsie disappeared, a bench now marks her memory in the city she was last seen.
“Until we can bring home, Pueblo, or the area around it, is her final resting place so having a memorial here is very important,” Saxton said.
Saxton has a more formal memorial planned for her daughter closer to home in Holyoke but said she feels like so much of her daughter is in Pueblo.
“It’s important to me for the community of Pueblo to remember what happened to her and her unborn child on the fateful trip she made here on February 4, 2013,” Saxton said. “Many citizens have adopted Kelsie has one of their own family so this is for them as well.”
Saxton waited eight years for justice and is still waiting for her daughter’s remains to be found.
“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything,” Saxton said.
Kelsie’s killer, a man she had, at minimum, an emotionally abusive relationship with, was convicted and sentenced for her murder earlier this year.
“Today is about Kelsie and I want us to concentrate on that,” said Chief Troy Davenport.
Organizers hope the memorial provides a safe space for someone going through something similar to what Kelsie did.
“Someone who might be struggling can come and sit on this bench and come and think about Kelsie and think about what she went through and maybe give them the strength to get out of the bad relationship they’re in,” Saxton said. “Because it’s not an easy thing to do.”