EL PASO COUNTY – More than three months after Kelsey Berreth was last seen publicly, police will soon begin searching a landfill for her remains.
Woodland Park Police will be joined by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies for the search, which starts on Tuesday, at Waste Management’s Midway Landfill just south of Colorado Springs. The landfill is the end site for a transfer station in Divide, where Patrick Frazee was spotted with friends in the days before his arrest.
Investigators believe Frazee, Berreth’s fiancé and accused killer, burned Berreth’s body after killing her on Nov. 22. He faces two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder, one count of tampering with a deceased human body, and two counts of a crime of violence.
In the Feb. 19 preliminary hearing, investigators said they received that information after a Dec. 20 interview of Krystal Kenney, who admitted she started dating Frazee in March 2018. Kenney, after first lying to the FBI in the days prior, told investigators that Frazee gave her details on how he committed the crime, including his intent to disperse the remains in either a landfill or a river.
That information has led police to the landfill. Woodland Park Police Commander Chris Adams said it’s taken police awhile to search the property due to the need to verify Kenney’s information.
“With any investigation, when you get information from somebody, you gotta go through and corroborate it. That takes some time. And then, we’ve never done this. We’ve had to reach out to partners across the nation,” Adams said at a press conference Monday.
Police reached out to NecroSearch International in Fort Collins for help in searching landfills. An expert, with help from Waste Management, narrowed down a specific area for investigators to look for Berreth’s remains.
According to Adams, the primary target area is 135 feet long, 32 feet wide and nine feet deep. Police said that’s the equivalent of 4,320 cubic yards of trash.
That area is within a ‘search cell’ that’s 250 feet long, 125 feet wide and 25 feet deep, which is 686,805 cubic yards of trash.
Adams said searchers will rely on an excavator and front-end loader to dig up the trash and sort it into rows. Then, 10 people will sift through it in search of Berreth’s remains.
He said his department owes it to Kelsey and the Berreth family to conduct a thorough, slow and methodical search. Initial estimates have the search lasting 35 days with personnel working Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.