DENVER – The parents of Kelsey Berreth, the missing Woodland Park mother presumed to be dead, are suing her alleged murderer and fiancé for damages.
Darrell and Cheryl Berreth filed the suit against Patrick Frazee in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado Friday.
The lawsuit includes four main allegations against Frazee, who’s facing two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit first degree murder. Police have yet to discover Kelsey Berreth’s body.
The causes of action include wrongful death, negligence per se, civil conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In the wrongful death allegation, the lawsuit alleges Frazee “acted as either the perpetrator or
accessory to the murder of Kelsey Berreth”, and in doing so, “breached the duty of care with which a reasonable person should conduct himself toward another human being, and such breach was the direct and proximate cause of the death of Kelsey Berreth.”
Berreth’s parents accuse Frazee of committing physical, mental and emotional acts of violence toward Kelsey Berreth prior to her death, according to the official complaint.
They also believe Frazee, in line with the solicitation charges he’s facing, planned the alleged crime and attempted to cover it up. The suit reads “Frazee, by words and/or by conduct, agreed to the murder and/or coverup of the murder of Kelsey Berreth.”
The alleged crime has led to severe damages for the Berreth family, according to the complaint. They include financial losses, distress, grief and a loss of quality of life, among others. The suit said they feel and continue to feel distress following Kelsey’s presumed death.
It’s unclear how much money the Berreths are seeking in damages.
Frazee was arrested Dec. 21, 2018, on murder charges connected to the disappearance of Kelsey Berreth. Based on the charges, police believe Frazee sought help in committing the crime.
Frazee was just granted access to the probable cause affidavit for his arrest, though the records, including search warrants and other documents, are still under seal while law enforcement conclude their investigation.
He’s due for a preliminary hearing, when he’s expected to enter a plea, on Feb. 19.
Frazee and Berreth shared custody of their 1-year-old daughter Kaylee. Both sets of grandparents are seeking custody of the daughter moving forward.
On Jan. 3, a judge gave temporary physical custody to Berreth’s parents, while legal custody remains with the Teller County Dept. of Human Services. That civil case is awaiting updates in Frazee’s criminal case.