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Kelsie Schelling’s mom opens up about guilty verdict in daughter’s murder


Mother of pregnant woman, 21, who vanished eight years ago reveals in first TV interview she breathed properly for the first time after her daughter’s boyfriend was found guilty of murder

  • Kelsie Schelling went missing in Pueblo, Colorado back in February 2013 after she went to tell her boyfriend Donthe Lucas that she was pregnant 
  • Schelling’s body has never been found but she is presumed dead
  • Her boyfriend, who was arrested four years after she was last seen, was found guilty two weeks ago of first-degree murder
  • In her first TV interview with ABC’s 20/20 set to air on Friday night, the victim’s mother opened up on the guilty verdict 
  • Saxton said she was expecting the jury to take a week with their deliberations and was shocked when they came back within just three hours 

The mother of a 21-year-old pregnant woman who vanished eight years ago says she felt like she could breathe for the first time after her daughter’s boyfriend was found guilty of her murder this month. 

Kelsie Schelling went missing in Pueblo, Colorado back in February 2013 after she went to tell her boyfriend Donthe Lucas that she was pregnant. 

Schelling’s body has never been found but she is presumed dead. 

Her boyfriend, who was arrested four years after she was last seen, was found guilty two weeks ago of first-degree murder.

He was immediately sentenced to life in prison without parole.  

In her first TV interview with ABC’s 20/20 set to air on Friday night, the victim’s mother opened up on the guilty verdict and her tireless search for her daughter over the past eight years. 

Donthe Lucas

Kelsie Schelling went missing in Pueblo, Colorado back in February 2013 after she went to tell her boyfriend Donthe Lucas that she was pregnant

Schelling’s mother Laura Saxton said the room was tense in the moments before the verdict was handed down. 

‘I think everybody was just holding their breath almost… just tense,’ Saxton said.  

‘The words came out way too slow. I feel like the judge was talking in slow mo. He finally got to guilty of first degree. That was the first breath I had taken in a long time.’ 

Lucas’ conviction earlier this month followed a 13 day trial. 

Prosecutors had argued that camera surveillance footage and cell phone records suggested Lucas was the last person to be seen with Schelling before her disappearance.

Defense attorneys, however, argued that evidence based on cell phone records and a lack of DNA evidence weren’t enough to find Lucas guilty. 

The jury deliberated for three hours before returning the guilty verdict. 

In her first TV interview with ABC's 20/20 set to air on Friday night, the victim's mother Laura Saxton opened up on the guilty verdict and her tireless search for her daughter over the past eight years

In her first TV interview with ABC’s 20/20 set to air on Friday night, the victim’s mother Laura Saxton opened up on the guilty verdict and her tireless search for her daughter over the past eight years

Schelling's body has never been found but she is presumed dead. Her boyfriend, who was arrested four years after she was last seen, was found guilty two weeks ago of first-degree murder

Schelling’s body has never been found but she is presumed dead. Her boyfriend, who was arrested four years after she was last seen, was found guilty two weeks ago of first-degree murder

Saxton said she was expecting the jury to take a week with their deliberations and was shocked when they came back so soon.

Schelling’s mother played a vital role in keeping the investigation alive over the past eight years. 

Lucas, who was arrested in 2017, was already behind bars serving time for armed robbery when he was served with the arrest warrant in Schelling’s death.

At the time his girlfriend vanished, Lucas was a college basketball player.   

Text messages on Schelling’s phone had indicated she had message Lucas about being pregnant but he was unhappy about the news.

GPS data showed that her phone was in the same vicinity as Lucas’ phone on the day she vanished.

Investigators also said Lucas had taken $400 out of his girlfriend’s account that same day.

Schelling’s car was found abandoned in a Walmart parking lot several days after she was reported missing. 

During the years long investigation, detectives dug up the backyard of a home where Lucas lived but no trace of Schelling’s remains were found.  

The interview with Schelling’s mother will air on Friday, March 26 on ABC’s 20/20.  

At the time his girlfriend vanished, Lucas was a college basketball player

Text messages on Schelling's phone had indicated she had message Lucas about being pregnant but he was unhappy about the news

At the time his girlfriend vanished, Lucas was a college basketball player. Text messages on Schelling’s phone had indicated she had message Lucas about being pregnant but he was unhappy about the news

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