FLORISSANT – Authorities announced Friday afternoon that they are now classifying Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance as suspicious, 23 days after she was last seen.
The announcement comes as investigators with multiple agencies search Patrick Frazee’s home, which police said could take days.
“We are asking Patrick to sit down with investigators since he was the last person to talk with Kelsey face-to-face based on our investigation,” De Young said.
That quote appears to contradict earlier statements provided by Patrick Frazee’s attorney, Jeremy Loew. Loew’s statement said Frazee has cooperated with the investigation and voluntarily handed over his phone, DNA samples and photos. However, Loew released a second statement Friday that said, “Mr. Frazee was never asked to voluntarily participate in this search.”
De Young said Frazee is communicating with police through his attorney.
De Young declined to call Frazee a suspect or a person of interest, but he added that investigators are considering “every possibility.”
De Young told News 5’s Sam Kraemer at a candlelight vigil Thursday night that officers made progress on their investigation. However, on Friday, De Young did not disclose what provided probable cause to execute the search warrant of Frazee’s home.
Earlier in the day, News 5 saw Frazee and his 1-year-old child leaving the property in the back of a Teller County Sheriff’s Office vehicle.
When asked if Woodland Park Police were considering taking their 1-year-old child away from Frazee, De Young said he has “no information” that would lead him to consider taking the child away from her father.
When asked if Frazee traveled between the time he picked up their daughter and when she was reported missing, De Young said he wants to ask Frazee that question as well.
“That would be a great question we would like to talk to him about.” De Young said.
Authorities also said they are setting up a reward fund for information that leads to Berreth. We are expecting to have more information about that fund and how people can contribute later on Friday.
Information about the search warrant is sealed. However, we know that the search is taking place on a 35-acre piece of property just north of Florissant in Teller County. According to authorities, everything on the property is subject to search under the warrant. That includes Frazee’s truck which was hauled off this afternoon.
The Woodland Park Police Department is leading the investigation with the assistance of the FBI evidence team, Teller County Sheriff’s Office for logistics assistance, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
Frazee is engaged to Berreth, who was last seen in public on Thanksgiving at a Woodland Park Safeway store. Frazee told police he saw her later that afternoon when he picked up their daughter. She has not been seen since.
Ten days later on Dec. 2, Berreth’s mother reported her missing.
Frazee’s attorney released a statement Wednesday morning that said he was cooperating with the investigation. That statement said he provided authorities his phone and he provided DNA evidence and photos to investigators.
He has been caring for his and Kelsey’s 1-year-old daughter since he picked her up from Kelsey.
At the last update from Woodland Park Police on Monday, authorities said her phone pinged off a cell tower in southern Idaho on Nov. 25. Frazee told Berreth’s mother that he received a text from her on Nov. 25, though authorities did not go into detail about what that message said.
Berreth’s employer, Doss Aviation in Pueblo, also received a text that day from Berreth’s phone which said she wouldn’t be at work the next week.
Frazee’s statement also went on to say that he did not attend a news conference with Woodland Park Police on Monday because he was notified about the event one hour before it started. The statement said he would have been there had he been given earlier notice.