Colorado prosecutors have alleged the former fiancé of Kelsey Berreth beat her to death with a baseball bat after trying unsuccessfully to persuade his new girlfriend to end her life.
Patrick Frazee is accused of wrapping a sweater around Berreth’s head and bashing it in with a bat before burning her body in a water trough, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing, CNN reported.
Frazee allegedly tried convincing his new girlfriend, Idaho nurse Krystal Lee Kenney, to steal powerful drugs they could use to poison Berreth’s coffee, investigators reportedly said.
He allegedly told Kenney he wanted her to “get rid of Kelsey,” saying Berreth was a terrible and abusive mother to their toddler daughter as well as a drug user.
Police said Kenney told them Frazee gave her Berreth’s address and her photo, and Kenney drove to the 29-year-old flight instructor’s home after picking up Starbucks coffee. Kenney allegedly said she knocked on Berreth’s door and lied about who she was when Berreth answered, but said she was unable to go through with the plan. Authorities said Kenney told them when she told Frazee she couldn’t poison Berreth, he grew angry.
It was apparently one of three instances in which Frazee allegedly tried convincing Kenney to kill Berreth before he is accused of taking matters into his own hands.
Police said Kenney said that while she was not involved in the actual attack, which investigators believe occurred in Berreth’s apartment last Thanksgiving, she was involved in the coverup.
Gregg Slater, an agent for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, testified Tuesday that Kenney said Frazee asked her to go to Berreth’s apartment to clean up blood. Frazee even asked Kenney to search for a tooth near a vent in the home, Slater reportedly said.
While she spent hours scrubbing the apartment, which she apparently described as “horrific,” Kenney told police she refused to help Frazee dispose of Berreth’s body and so he took it to a farm in Fremont County, Slater said. Frazee then allegedly left Berreth’s body, which he had stuffed into a black tote bag, in a stack of hay while he celebrated Thanksgiving.
"You don't know how hard it is to have Thanksgiving dinner after killing her," Slater said Kenney told them Frazee said.
Frazee later allegedly put the body in a water trough, where he doused it in gas and added wood before lighting it on fire, Slater testified. He is believed to have left the remains at either a dump or in a river, Slater said.
But police investigating Berreth’s disappearance said they found blood in her toilet, the outside of her bathtub, the bottom of a trash can, on the walls, the floor, a towel rack, the vanity and an electrical outlet.
The blood found matched a DNA profile developed with samples taken from Berreth’s family, Slater said.
Frazee on Tuesday was charged with tampering with a body and counts related to a crime of violence.
He already faced two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder in the first degree. He has not yet entered a plea to the charges.
Police said he told them he last saw Berreth Nov. 22, when he picked up their daughter, making him the last known person to report seeing her alive. He was arrested in December and is being held without bond.
Kenney, who pleaded guilty to evidence tampering Feb. 8, will testify against Frazee at his upcoming trial. She will not be sentenced until after Frazee’s trial.
Berreth’s parents have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Frazee, who they say wanted full custody of his daughter with Berreth, but Berreth would not agree. Their daughter, who is only 1, is now in the custody of Berreth’s parents. A judge scheduled a hearing for April 4 to determine the next steps in that custody case.