PUEBLO, Colo. — On Wednesday in a Pueblo County courtroom, a woman testified via computer that she pretended to be in a romantic relationship with Donthe Lucas, for about a year, in order to try to find out what happened to Kelsie Schelling.
Lucas is charged in Schelling’s disappearance and murder in 2013. He has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Schelling, 21, was eight weeks pregnant when she disappeared February 4, 2013, after driving from Denver to Pueblo. She was supposed to meet Donthe Lucas, her boyfriend at the time, at the Walmart on Northern Avenue.
Lauren Suhr said her relationship with Lucas extended beyond her original intentions.
“I would say things were romantic,” Suhr told the court. “But in the back of my mind, I knew what I was doing.” At one point, Suhr admitted, Lucas proposed to her. She accepted and wore the ring, but said she told Lucas she’d “have to think about it.”
The defense asked Suhr if she acted as a “sex informant” to obtain information for the Colorado Bureau of Investigations.
“I would not say I would have sex with him to have him give me answers,” she responded. “No.”
Suhr said Lucas did share some details with her and noted his story changed several times in regards to taking money out of Schelling’s bank account and moving her car.
Colin Knaub, a forensic scientist with CBI, was next to take the stand. Knaub tests items from crime scenes for criminal investigations.
In this case, Knaub swabbed white stains observed in the trunk of Schelling’s car, the passenger headrest, and several other items, including some of Lucas’ clothes.
Knaub said he saw no evidence of blood from those items.
One swab taken inside Lucas’ home did test positive for blood, but, according to Knaub there wasn’t enough information to draw on conclusion as to who the blood may have come from.
Schelling’s mother, Laura Saxton, returned to the stand on Wednesday afternoon. She raised some concerns about items that were not found in Schelling’s car, which was found, abandoned, on February 14, 2013.
Saxton said Schelling kept a stuffed, tie-dyed teddy bear behind the gear shift. It was always there, Saxton said. She also said she “vividly” remembered a black rosary and a little metal sign on a chain that read “love”. None of those items were in the abandoned vehicle.
“I asked if those things were still with the car and was told they were not,” Saxton said.
She recalled, then, the condition of her daughter’s car, when it was recovered in Pueblo.
“It was just a mess,” she said, then. “It was full of gravel. Even the cracks in the seats had gravel. There was dust on the interior. I just knew that Kelsie would never let her car get in that condition.”
Next to take the stand on Wednesday was Courtney Noyse, who’s worked for the FBI since 1998.
When the Schelling case was referred to her, she said, her focus was to assist in giving investigators other ways to track down the missing woman. Noyse said, although she had access to several extensive databases, she did not find further information on Schelling’s whereabouts.
This article will be updated.