COLORADO SPRINGS – They weren’t relatives, but their bond sure felt like it.
That’s what Nicole Haywood told News 5 about her childhood friend Kelsey Berreth — the Woodland Park mother that’s been missing for more than two months. Police believe she was murdered by her fiancé, Patrick Frazee, who was arrested Dec. 21 on murder charges.
Haywood said she wants the honor the life and memory of her dear friend in the face of tragedy.
“You know, it was absolutely devastating when I first heard that she had gone missing,” Haywood said. “You see this stuff in the news all the time, but it’s never been this close to home with someone you grew up with.”
Haywood, speaking to News 5’s Sam Kraemer over Skype, said Berreth was like a little sister to her.
They spent countless days together in grade school. Haywood knew Berreth as an adventurous, outdoorsy and responsible.
“When you first meet Kelsey, she’s super shy, very quiet. But behind that quiet exterior is someone that’s very sharp, very intelligent,” Haywood said.
Haywood said she never spoke to Berreth about her relationship with Patrick Frazee. She was, though, happy that Berreth found love, and said Berreth showed compassion toward the couple’s 1-year-old daughter Kaylee.
“When you find the right person and you get engaged, it’s really exciting,” Haywood said. “And we just never expected things to turn out like this.”
Now, she prays for closure, hoping the spirit of her childhood friend lives on forever.
Berreth was last seen on surveillance footage at the Safeway in Woodland Park on Nov. 22. She wasn’t reported missing until Dec. 2, after her mother Cheryl spoke to Frazee over the phone.
A multi-jurisdictional task force — including the Woodland Park Police Department, Teller County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Federal Bureau of Investigation — never named Frazee a suspect or person of interest. They executed a search warrant on his mother’s Florissant property, where he also lives, on Dec. 14.
Then, a week later, Frazee was arrested on murder charges. The 4th Judicial District formally charged Frazee with two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
Frazee is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 19. That’s when the public should gain access to the evidence against him.