Family and friends search dry creek bed for clues in Kelsie Schelling case

PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - Nearly five years later, family and friends of Kelsie Schelling are still searching for answers in southern Colorado.

Kelsie Schelling, left, with her mother. (Photo courtesy of Schelling's family)

On Saturday, a search crew spent hours combing a dry creek bed in east Pueblo after they received a new tip. 11 News first told you in early November investigators were also searching for new clues in the case. The area searched Saturday has not been searched by law enforcement yet.

"Every time I think we get close I do think, 'How am I going to feel if we don't find her and then how am I going to feel if we do?'" said Schelling's mother Laura Saxton. "I think initially it would be really hard, but I mean that's what we've been hoping for, for so long is to be able to bring her home."

Investigators spent time in southwest Pueblo, searching two areas near where person of interest, Donthe Lucas, used to live.

The search was prompted by new leads in the case, law enforcement told 11 News.

Schelling disappeared in February 2013 at the age of 22. She was last seen on the 4th of that month after traveling from her home in Denver to Pueblo, where her boyfriend Lucas lived. She had recently learned she was pregnant with the couple's first child.

Since then, Saxton and numerous volunteers have tirelessly combed areas in and around Pueblo searching for anything that would lead to her whereabouts. Her mother told 11 News a couple of years ago, she knows in her heart her daughter is dead.

According to a lawsuit she filed against the city, the last text message her daughter ever sent was to Lucas. Police have acknowledged Lucas remains a person of interest in the case, but have not formally named him or anyone else a suspect.

The Pueblo police chief says the department is dedicated to finding answers for Schelling's family.

The family is offering a $50,000 reward for Schelling's return or information that leads to her location. There does not have to be a conviction in the case to get the reward money.