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Cold case efforts intensify in Southern Colorado
Photo courtesy: Colorado Bureau of Investigation

By Joshua Pilkington

New information sheds new light on two cold cases
Both the Pueblo and Rocky Ford police departments are collaborating with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on separate cold cases in their regions.
On November 1, 1982 15-year-olds Victoria Sanchez and Yvonne Mestas were spotted leaving Rocky Ford High School in the afternoon and were never seen again. According to a press release from CBI, both CBI agents and Rocky Ford PD detectives are following-up on new information developed in connection with the case. Due to the nature of the recent developments neither Rocky Ford PD nor CBI were able to comment on the specifics of the investigation or the new information.
“Although decades have passed, we are actively woking with our partners at the Rocky Ford Police Department on this long-term missing persons’ case to help determine what happened to Victoria and Yvonne,” said CBI Pueblo Agent Kevin Koback in a press release.
According to their case files, Sanchez has an identifying mark on her body in the form of a surgical scar that runs from the wrist to the inside of her elbow on the left arm. Mestas’ identifying mark is a large, heart-shaped birth mark on her left or right buttock.
CBI agents and Rocky Ford Police detectives are asking anyone with details about the disappearances of Sanchez and Mestas to come forward. They would both be 40-years-old now and age progression images of the two can be found at the CBI website To report a tip with regard to this case, call the CBI Pueblo Regional Office at 719-647-5999, then press 2.
Kelsie Schelling search intensifies
Detectives of the Pueblo Police Department as well as the CBI are also involved in a cold case search related to the case of Kelsie Schelling.
There have been several breaks in the Schelling case since she disappeared at the age of 21 in February 2013 soon after she learned she was pregnant. According to a November 7 press release from CBI, both PPD and CBI agents as well as their public safety partners began conducting searches on November 8 near the areas where Schelling was last known to be in southwestern Pueblo.
Similar excavations were conducted in April in the area near the former residence of Schelling’s former boyfriend Donthe Lucas, who is considered a person of interest in the case. According to investigators, those searches yielded evidence, though they did not provide further details.
Schelling was last seen on February 4, 2013 at a Walmart on the 4000 block of West Northern Avenue in Pueblo. She had reportedly texted Lucas a picture of her eight-week ultrasound and made the trip from Denver to Pueblo to meet him at his request.
Though unable to provide details about the searches, CBI did say they were prompted by recent leads generated as part of the ongoing cold case investigation.
At a press conference on November 7, Schelling’s mother Laura Saxton said though nothing has turned up with regard to her daughter’s disappearance in recent search efforts, she is grateful the effort continues.
“The quiet times are what’s hard for me,” she said. “I can’t handle it when there’s nothing going on. That’s when I lose hope. As hard as it is to come out here, there is no place that I’d want to be other than right here. In case something is found that leads us to Kelsie or if we would find Kelsie.”
Pueblo Police Chief Troy Davenport also offered support.
“While we cannot offer any comment about this active investigation, we want the community to be aware that this case remains a priority of the Pueblo Police Department,” he said. “Our police department is committed to helping to bring justice to Kelsie and for her family.”
CBI and Pueblo PD urge anyone with information regarding the Schelling case to submit a tip. To remain anonymous, contact Pueblo Crime Stoppers at 719-542-STOP (7867) or If your information leads to a felony arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.





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