Murder charges filed against man in case of missing Colorado mom
Colorado prosecutors filed five charges against Patrick Frazee in the death of his missing fiancee and mother of his 1-year-old daughter.
Frazee is accused of killing 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth, who disappeared last month.
Frazee appeared in Teller County Court on Monday morning. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder in the first degree, District Attorney Dan May said.
Prosecutors filed two murder charges because they have different theories. One is that he acted alone to kill Berreth, the other says he alone or with other people killed her during a robbery.
The three solicitation charges refer to soliciting the murder in three separate incidents. It could mean he allegedly solicited the same person three times or three people on different occasions.
Frazee’s arrest came almost a month after Berreth vanished on Thanksgiving near Woodland Park, a city between Denver and Colorado Springs.
Authorities do not believe Berreth is alive, but they have not found her body. They have not determined a motive.
Frazee is being held without bond. A bond hearing is scheduled for January 29. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Frazee told police he last saw Berreth on November 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 November 25, saying she wouldn’t be able to work that week, police said. Frazee said she texted 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, Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young previously said. Gooding is roughly 800 miles northwest of Woodland Park.
“She’s not the kind that runs off,” Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey’s mother, said in a December 10 press conference. “This is completely out of character. Kelsey loves her God, she loves her family and friends and she loves her job. She’s reliable, considerate and honest.”
Support for Frazee
Jodee Garreston, Berreth’s cousin, said the pair met online two years ago when Berreth lived in Warden, Washington. Within months, Berreth moved to Colorado to be with Frazee, said Garreston, who never met Frazee.
Frazee has a business shoeing horses in Teller County. Several of Frazee’s friends and clients told CNN that he was well known and liked in the community and was a good father to daughter Kaylee.
Two friends said Frazee told them that the relationship with Berreth ended months ago — claims that contradict statements from Berreth’s aunt, who wrote on Facebook that Berreth broke up with Frazee the same day she went missing.
“I still refuse to believe that he’s done this until I see the evidence,” said Tamra Freeman, whose granddaughter played with Frazee’s daughter.
Freeman said that Frazee told her the relationship with Berreth ended on New Year’s Day 2018, and the only contact they had was related to their daughter. Berreth’s mother has not responded to CNN’s requests for comment.
Frazee was at Freeman’s home two days before his arrest, she said. She recalls him being concerned about what would happen to Kaylee if he was arrested, she said. Freeman said Frazee told her he felt “railroaded” by police, who he claimed seemed to be focused only on him.
When asked if others were investigated as potential suspects, District Attorney Dan May declined to share specifics of the investigation.
Levi Snare said he went through 4H with Frazee when they were children, and he leases a bull from Frazee for his cows. Frazee kept to himself, Snare said, but could hold a conversation when engaged.
“I’ve known Patrick for a long time, and it doesn’t seem to me like he could do that,” Snare said. “You’re innocent until proven guilty and so people on Facebook who don’t even know Patrick need to keep their mouths shut.”
Frazee never spoke poorly of Berreth, said Ginger Bruvold, owner of Outpost Feed and Ranch Supply in Florissant where Frazee was a customer. His daughter was always with him and she was always well behaved and appeared to be cared for, Bruvold said.
“I have nothing negative to say about him or his family,” Bruvold said. “They are good, honest, hardworking people who have been in this community most of their lives.”
By Sara Weisfeldt and Scott McLean, CNN