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PUEBLO, Colo. — For nearly eight years the disappearance of Kelsie Schelling has left her family waiting and wondering to find out what happened to her. Jury selection began Monday for the man accused of murdering her, Donthe Lucas.

On February 4, 2013, Schelling traveled from Denver to Pueblo to meet with Lucas. She was pregnant at the time. She was reported missing and hasn’t been seen since.

For years, police had no answers, only reminding the community that she was missing and supporters of Kelsie’s family holding events to remember her and memorialize her.

“We definitely hit a turning point with CBI [Colorado Bureau of Investigation] becoming involved and new people [at Pueblo PD] that has made a huge difference,” Laura Saxton, Kelsie’s mom, said in 2017. “We are very, very grateful for that.”

Late in November of 2017, Lucas was arrested. For the previous five years, police said he had been a person of interest.

“I myself have no doubt that he is the one responsible,” Saxton said at the time. “Kelsie cared a lot about him. She gave a lot to him. He took a lot from her. ”

In the three years since his arrest, pretrial court hearings and motions seemed endless for Saxton. The trial had been delayed several times over the two years prior to 2020, then the pandemic delayed the case even further.

“It is surreal this is finally happening and hard because I am not there right now to observe everything. I just pray for the best possible jury and I pray for them because this is not an easy thing they are being asked to do,” she told FOX21 on Monday.

Kelsie has never been found, though a Judge had ruled in 2018 that there was no “digital footprint” to indicate that she was alive. Saxton says a trial and the answers she hopes come from it are her only hope for closure.

“My goal has always been: We get the answer that leads us to Kelsie,” Saxton said in an interview in February 2019.