Witness describes hair found in Kelsie Schelling’s abandoned vehicle

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PUEBLO, Colo. — Several new witnesses took the stand in a Pueblo County courtroom Monday, called to testify in the Donthe Lucas murder trial.

Donthe Lucas Pueblo Police Department

Lucas is charged in the 2013 disappearance and murder of Kelsie Schelling, his one-time girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time of her disappearance.

Lucas has pleaded not guilty to the crime.

kelsie schelling.JPG

Schelling’s body has never been found, despite years of searches in several areas of the state.

On Monday, Kim Pearce was called to the stand. Pearce has worked at the southside landfill, in Pueblo, for 13 years – and was the lead administrator there, when Schelling went missing.

Pearce testified about a break-in at the landfill around that time. A lock had been tampered with on the morning on February 6, 2013. However, the view of the camera was blocked, though Pearce said the camera did catch headlights, which, she said, stayed in place for awhile.

Guadalupe Maestas is the employee who discovered the lock had been tampered with on the morning of February 6. According to Maestas’ testimony, the lock had gouges on it, as though someone had used a hammer or a pipe on it. He said the lock was no longer operational and had to be replaced. The gate itself, he said, looked to be pushed inward, as well.

Still another witness was called to the stand to review photographs of Schelling’s car, which was found abandoned at Saint Mary-Corwin Hospital, after she was discovered missing.

Sergeant Nikki Thomas was called to the hospital on February 14, 2013 to assess Schelling’s car. She took digital photos, which were shown to court on Monday.

The photos showed the car had been sitting in the same spot for some time, as it had begun to collect dust, as well as sediment from rain or snow. Thomas said the car was towed to a secure impound for processing.

Hair strands were found both on the floormat in the front of the car on the passenger side, as well as in the trunk.

Gloria Dimick, a foresnsic examiner, said through mitochondrial DNA testing, the hair found on the passenger side of the vehicle could belong to Donthe Lucas, or to his mother, Sara. The hair found in the trunk tested consistent with Kelsie Schelling’s DNA or her mother, Laura Saxton.

Dimick was the last witness to take the stand on Monday.

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