Donthe Lucas waives first court appearance on Kelsie Schelling murder charge

PUEBLO, Colo. – Donthe Lucas, the man charged Friday with murder in the 2013 disappearance of Kelsie Schelling, waived his first court appearance on the charges Monday morning.

Lucas, 25, had been set to be advised of his charges in Pueblo District Court Monday, but after he waived his appearance, he will make his first appearance Dec. 18.

Prosecutors on Friday charged Lucas with one count of first-degree murder in the disappearance of Schelling, who was Lucas’ girlfriend and was pregnant with his child when she disappeared while visiting him in February 2013. The only trace left behind was her abandoned car, found on Feb. 14 after it was abandoned Feb. 7 at St. Mary-Corwin Hospital. Her body has never been found.

Friday was the first time police had called the investigation into Schelling’s disappearance a homicide investigation, and both police and Schelling’s mother confirmed that the woman’s body had not been found.

"I think there is hope that we will find the body in the coming days, weeks or months," Dan Corsentino, the former Pueblo County Sheriff whom Kelsie's family hired as a private investigator early in the investigation, told Denver7 Friday. "It was difficult for law enforcement to penetrate the shroud of secrecy that existed within the Donthe Lucas family... I think it's highly possible a family member or someone close to Donthe could have turned."

Lucas’ mother, 49-year-old Sara Lucas, was also arrested Friday in Pueblo in connection to a Sept. 1 armed robbery in Pueblo. Donthe Lucas and his brother, Dushon Lucas, both faces charges in connection with that case as well. Donthe arrested while trying to board a plane to Phoenix at Denver International Airport last month.

Corsentino said Friday investigators believed Lucas’ family members might have more information about Schelling’s disappearance.

Lucas has long been considered a suspect in the case but he has never been convicted on any charges. Investigators were at his home in April searching for evidence, but it’s not known what was found.

“I have no doubt that Donthe – her boyfriend, the father of her child – is responsible for her disappearance,” Schelling's mother told Denver7 earlier this year. “I can’t sleep at night. I hope he can’t either.”

Court records indicate Lucas remains held without bond on the murder charge pending his first appearance. He was already in jail on the armed robbery charge when he was charged with murder Friday.

The affidavit in the case remained sealed Monday.

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