A Colorado man accused of murdering his fiance was set to appear before a judge on Dec. 31.
Patrick Frazee killed Kelsey Berreth, his fiance and the mother of his 1-year-old daughter, police officials said.
Frazee was booked into jail on Dec. 21 after an investigation led investigators to believe that he committed the crime. Berreth’s body has not been found as of yet, but officials believe she’s dead.
“We finally received enough information to implicate Patrick in his involvement in Kelsey’s death,” Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young told reporters.
Berreth, 29, vanished the day after Thanksgiving.
Frazee’s appearance on Monday was slated to start at 8:30 a.m.
The appearance could include Frazee entering a plea, reported KOAA. There may also be updates on several motions that have been filed, including efforts to limit pre-trial publicity, preserve evidence, and keep Frazee’s arrest warrant sealed.
In Frazee’s first court appearance on Thursday, the judge ordered the 1-year-old be temporarily placed in the custody of her grandparents, Berreth’s parents. The custody aspect will resume on Jan. 3.
Despite the body not being found, some legal experts say that prosecutors can still pursue the case.
“You don’t actually need a body to try or convict somebody of murder,” one expert, Christopher Decker, told KDVR. “One of the things they have to do is [prove] that she is dead and that he knowingly and intentionally caused that death.”
The case has attracted attention nationwide, after Berreth’s cell phone pinged hundreds of miles away from her home in Idaho a few days after she disappeared. Authorities in that state were assisting Colorado officials.
Family members said in early December that Berreth left most of her belongings at her house, including her two cars and her luggage. “Kelsey did not pack to go anywhere. All luggage is here. Her purse is all that seems to have gone,” her brother-in-law wrote in a Facebook post at the time.
Client Speaks Out
The day before he was arrested, Frazee was working with a client, Clinton Cline.
Frazee worried that Cline might not be able to get through to him since his cell phone had been getting numerous calls, so he phoned Cline and gave him his new cell phone number.
Frazee, a farrier, and Cline were working to care for a protected herd of wild donkeys in the small town of Cripple Creek.
“He’s very conscientious about his work,” Cline told People magazine, noting that Frazee spent several days a year trimming the hooves of the donkeys. “He had the health and the well-being of the donkeys’ interest at heart.”
Cline said that Frazee’s actions in the midst of the investigation appear to be those of an innocent man.
“If the evidence shows up that he did do it, I’m going to be one of the most shocked people you’ve ever seen,” said Cline, president of the Cripple Creek organization that protects the wild animals. “I know everybody always says that. But it doesn’t fit his persona to do something like that.”
From NTD News