Families with missing loved ones gather Saturday for resources and support

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Families with missing loved ones attend Missing in Colorado Saturday, an event hosted by the Longmont Department of

Kelsie Schelling went to visit her boyfriend in Pueblo after he asked her to come down from Denver. She never returned. Years later, her family is still looking for her.

Kelsie was 19 years old and eight weeks pregnant when she went missing on Feb. 4, 2013, her mother Laura Saxton said. She had driven down to Pueblo to meet her boyfriend Donthe Lucas and show him an ultrasound. Lucas has been called a person of interest in the case.

Kelsie was spirited, strong willed and had a contagious laugh. She also had beautiful eyes and a beautiful smile, Saxton said.

“We just want to find her,” she said. “We’re not giving up on finding her even though we’re getting close to five years.”

The Saxtons were one of the families who attended Missing in Colorado, a Saturday event hosted by the Longmont Department of Public Safety and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to give families resources and the opportunity to meet with others in similar situations.

Crime Stoppers, the Boulder Coroner’s Office, Colorado Forensic Canines, Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System were among the organizations present.

Those organizations help families in their search in different ways.

FOHVAMP analyzes cases and gives families suggestions on what to do next. NamUs is a database for both families and law enforcement to put up information about missing people that can be cross referenced against each other. Colorado Forensic Canines will aid in missing person and cold cases for free.

Binders of information on some unidentified remains were available for people to see whether they matched their loved ones. Artists who make clay sculptures and sketches based on remains were also present. There was a luncheon reserved for just families so people can lend support to one another.

Beyond resources and support, the event was also to remind people that there are many people missing in Colorado, CBI analyst Audrey Simkins said.

A majority of reports for missing people are runaways who return the following Sunday or Monday, she said.

“It’s those that don’t return who we need to focus our attention on,” she said.

Some families had loved ones who had disappeared this year, she said. Others have had loved ones missing for 10, 20, 30 years. This event was an opportunity for them to learn from one another.

As time goes on, people forget about those who have gone missing, Saxton said. She was glad Missing in Colorado and Colorado Missing Persons Day, both in their second years, “give the family at least two days in the year for their loved ones to be remembered.”

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