Missing Colorado Mom's Fiance Charged With Her Murder
Police no longer believe Kelsey Berreth is alive, though they have yet to locate her body.
The fiancé of Kelsey Berreth, the Colorado mother who was last seen alive on Thanksgiving, has been arrested and charged in her killing, officials said Friday.
Patrick Frazee was taken into custody about 7 a.m. local time and was charged with murder and solicitation to commit murder, Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said at a press conference.
"Sadly, we do not believe Kelsey is still alive," he told reporters.
Investigators have not yet located Berreth's body, but they believe she may have been killed in her Woodland Park home.
After more than four weeks investigating the 29-year-old flight instructor's disappearance, De Young said police had conducted multiple interviews that gave them enough information to implicate Frazee in her death and obtain a warrant for his arrest.
A multijurisdictional task force made up of numerous law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, served the warrant at Frazee's 35-acre ranch in Florissant.
His and Berreth's 1-year-old daughter was in protective custody Friday and will be reunited with her mother's family, De Young said.
Berreth was last seen alive on Nov. 22 shopping at a Safeway supermarket. Surveillance footage showed the young mom entering the store while carrying her daughter in a car seat. Police said Frazee told them he met her later that day so he could pick up their child. They did not live together.
The investigation into Berreth's disappearance opened Dec. 2 after her mother, Cheryl, reported her missing. Berreth's employer told police they received a text from her phone Nov. 25 indicating she planned to take the following week off. Frazee told police he received a text from Berreth's phone that same day as well. Data indicated Berreth's phone was near Gooding, Idaho, at the time the texts were sent.
Authorities have confirmed that Berreth's cellphone is in fact in Idaho, but were not able to elaborate on how it got there.
Last week, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Frazee’s property. Investigators used a back hoe and cadaver dogs to scour the property, and his red pickup truck was also taken away.
At that time, Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young called on Frazee to agree to an interview with officials, saying "we have yet to have him sit down with one of our investigators."
“He is communicating with us through his attorney," De Young said.
Frazee's lawyer said his client is cooperating with the investigation.
“Like most relationships, it has ups and downs but for the most part it's a good relationship,” Frazee’s lawyer said of his client’s relationship with Berreth when he spoke to Inside Edition earlier.
Frazee was being held at the Teller County Jail. Formal charges against him will be filed in the coming days and an arrest affidavit was sealed. District Attorney Dan May would not elaborate on the circumstances behind his being charged with solicitation to commit murder, but said that it is a crime to solicit somebody to commit another crime. De Young said police do not know whether additional arrests will be made in the future.
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