Evidence, Witnesses to Be Presented in Colorado Missing Mom Case

February 19, 2019 Updated: February 19, 2019
Nearly three months after Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth went missing, evidence will be presented and witnesses will be called during a preliminary hearing in Cripple Creek, Colorado, west of Colorado Springs, on Feb. 19.

Berreth, 29, vanished last Thanksgiving near Woodland Park, a city between Denver and Colorado Springs. Authorities charged her fiancé, Patrick Frazee, with murder—even though the body has not been found.

The couple has a 1-year-old daughter, Kaylee, who is now in the custody of Berreth’s parents. A judge scheduled an April 4 hearing to determine the next steps in Kaylee’s custody case.

Berreth’s parents, Cheryl-Lee Ellen Berreth and Darrell Lynn Berreth, believe a custody dispute was likely a “motive to kill Kelsey,” according to a wrongful death lawsuit they filed.

“Upon information and belief, Frazee had the motive to kill Kelsey in that he wanted full custody of [their daughter] KB and/or Kelsey to leave KB with him and Kelsey would not agree,” said the amendment, filed in a District Court on Friday.

The Mystery Behind Berreth’s Disappearance

According to a family member, Berreth met Frazee online two years ago when Berreth lived in Warden, Washington. Within months, Berreth moved to Colorado to be with Frazee, who has a business shoeing horses in Teller County.

Frazee told police he last saw his fiancée on Nov. 22, when he picked up their daughter, making him the last known person to report seeing her alive.

Berreth’s employer got a text from her phone on Nov. 25, saying she wouldn’t be able to work that week, police said. Frazee said she had sent a text to him that day, but the contents of that text haven’t been released.

That same day, Berreth’s phone was tracked to a location near Gooding, Idaho, according to Woodland Park police Chief Miles De Young. Gooding is roughly 800 miles northwest of Woodland Park.

Berreth’s parents grew concerned after she didn’t respond to calls or texts for a week. So Cheryl-Lee Berreth called Frazee on Dec. 2 to ask about her daughter.

“Frazee responded with ‘here’s the story…’ ” and proceeded to make a series of  “false statements, misrepresentations, and/or calculated omissions,” a court filing states.

According to the lawsuit, Frazee told Cheryl-Lee Berreth that he and Kelsey broke up on Thanksgiving, and that “Kelsey agreed to share with Frazee 50/50 custody of their daughter.”

Frazee was arrested in December on murder charges. He now faces two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder in the first degree.

Prosecutors filed two murder charges because they have different theories. One is that he acted alone to kill Berreth; the other is that he—either alone or with other people—killed her during a robbery.

The Idaho Nurse Twist

In January, police began looking at an Idaho woman suspected of disposing of Berreth’s phone. Then, earlier this month, the Idaho woman was identified as Krystal Lee Kenney. A nurse, Kenney admitted to a judge she disposed of the phone.

“I learned Patrick Frazee had committed a homicide on approximately Nov. 22, 2018, in Teller County,” Kenney said in a statement read in court.

“I knew that law enforcement would be investigating that crime. I moved the victim’s cell phone, with the intent to impair the phone’s availability in the investigation. I had no right or authority to move the victim’s cell phone. That occurred between Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, 2018, in Teller County.”

Kenney was charged with evidence tampering and could face up to three years in prison.

The connection between Kenny, Frazee, and Berreth is unclear.

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