Kelsey Berreth disappeared in 2018 leaving little trace until a December breakthrough. Utilizing that new information, News5’s Sam Kraemer walks through what we now know.
“Someone knows where she’s at. Kelsey, we just want you home. Call us if you can, and we won’t quit looking,” stated Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey’s mother.
The case has captured the attention of the nation since the very beginning, and now it’s seemingly headed for trial despite some of the evidence still remaining under seal.
“Kelsey’s been missing and been reported missing by her mother Cheryl since Sunday, December 2nd, at about 12:37 pm,” commented Police Chief Miles De Young of Woodland Park.
This ordeal began as a missing person case in early December, but Berreth was last seen publicly on Thanksgiving Day.
Police released surveillance footage of her entering the Woodland Park Safeway with her daughter.
Physical signs of her were lacking, but a digital footprint helped to suggest foul play was evident.
“The key, I think will be in this case, is cell phone analytics,” stated Mark Pfoff, a local digital expert.
On November 25th, Berreth’s cell phone pinged off a tower near Gooding, Idaho. That’s nearly 800 miles from Woodland Park, three days after she was last seen.
Police didn’t release any information to suggest how it got there at a December 10th press conference, cause for concern to Pfoff.
“If somebody makes a trip, you can track them very easily. They’re hitting towers on the way up,” Pfoff continued.
Later on, we would learn that police knew more than they shared publicly all along.
Police arrested Patrick Frazee on December 21st and charged him with first-degree murder and solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
“As you can tell from the arrest, sadly we do not believe Kelsey is still alive,” stated Chief De Young.
It was the culmination of weeks of investigating across different states, a process we now know relied heavily on one person, Krystal Kenney, from Idaho.
She helped piece together almost every part of the crime from the very beginning.
Now, let’s go back to piece all of this together with Kenney’s testimony, released in court on February 19th from her December 20th interview with police.
Kenney told investigators she started dating Frazee in March 2018 but didn’t know about his relationship and daughter with Berreth until July.
Around that time she says Frazee voiced concerns that Berreth was an abusive parent toward their daughter, despite investigators finding no proof of said harm.
Kenney reports that Frazee also stated, that he “Wanted to get rid of her,” opening the door to solicitation charges.
“It suggests to me that he probably asked the same person three times to either help or commit the crime individually,” stated Stephen Longo, a local lawyer.
Kenney’s interrogation showed Frazee tried having her commit the crime four separate times.
First, on September 23rd, when Kenney drove down with her aunt to check out a horse trailer.
She says Frazee suggested drugging a caramel macchiato, Berreth’s favorite Starbucks drink, and giving it to her.
Kenney said she could have tainted it with drugs she had access to as a nurse.
Kenney went to Berreth’s door, introduced herself under a fake name and story and gave Berreth the drink.
However, she didn’t drug the drink. Kenney says she texted Frazee explaining that she couldn’t hurt Berreth. Frazee was angry, but said she’d have another chance.
That chance came on October 15th.
Kenney says Frazee left her a steel rod at his property for her to beat Berreth with outside her home. Again, Kenney refused to hurt Kelsey.
Frazee asked a third time on October 21st, suggesting Kenney bring a baseball bat from home to commit the crime.
Kenney drove down from Idaho, parked outside Berreth’s home, but again stopped short.
“Krystal tells investigators that she did not comply with any of those. And at the last time when she was here on Oct. 21, she sat and said I can’t do this, and tells Patrick, I can’t do this,” commented Jennifer Viehman, Deputy District Attorney for the Fourth Judicial District.
That’s when Frazee reportedly told Kenney that he was going to have to murder Berreth himself.
After he tried a fourth time to get Kenney to come to Colorado and help in the crime, Frazee texts Kenney asking for her to call him on Thanksgiving.
On November 22nd, Kenney reports that he eventually calls, saying, “You need to get out here now. You’ve got a mess to clean up.”
She took that to mean that Frazee had killed Berreth and that now she needed to cover his tracks.
“As Krystal describes, when she walks into Kelsey’s condo, the scene is horrific,” continued Viehman.
On November 24th, Kenney brought cleaning supplies from home, including a full body suit, bleach, and trash bags.
She cleaned up the scene in 3-4 hours.
Then, Frazee takes her to a barn on Nash ranch, where Kenney says he stored Berreth’s body in a black tote.
He reportedly asked Kenney to take the remains back to Idaho, but she declined.
So she says he decided to burn the tote on his property.
That’s when Kenney says Frazee opened up to her about the murder, saying the couple’s 1-year-old daughter was in the back room the whole time.
“Patrick kills Kelsey in a horrific manner with a bat in the back of the head as Kelsey is sniffing candles with a blindfold over her eyes,” stated Viehman.
To finish the crime, Frazee gives Berreth’s cell phone to Kenney, instructing her to text Berreth’s work supervisor, mother and Frazee himself.
The plan was to throw off investigators by showing Berreth apparently driving off on her own.
In reality, Kenney drove the phone to Idaho on November 25th for an intentional ping, before destroying it.
A week later, Berreth’s mother, Cheryl, calls Frazee, asking if he’s heard from her. Frazee said he hadn’t and that’s when Cheryl called police to start the investigation.
Law enforcement searched Berreth’s townhome on December 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Investigative teams even used cadaver dogs and chemical agents; however, they didn’t find any signs of foul play initially.
Everything changes December 6th when forensic agents from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation find blood spots around the home, some of which Kenney says she left intentionally for police to find.
Two days prior, on December 4th, police seized Frazee’s cell phone, and utilizing tower data, found incriminating evidence.
Police say his and Berreth’s phones were traveling together toward the ranch where Kenney says Frazee stored Berreth’s body.
Law enforcement also found proof that Frazee called Kenney several times, matching her story.
“We wouldn’t even know where the murder happened in the apartment even, which room or where it happened at all, without her testimony,” Stated District Attorney Dan May.
Police executed a search warrant on Frazee’s Florissant residence on December 14th.
That’s the same day that FBI first reached out to Kenney who initially lied about her relationship with Frazee.
In the preliminary stages of the investigation, Chief De Young wouldn’t call Frazee a suspect, saying things didn’t add up.
“Our investigators believe that Kelsey’s disappearance is more suspicious and that she is not intentionally avoiding efforts to find her,” he stated.
Law enforcement finished the search two days later but didn’t find anything of substance.
The same day, FBI and CBI agents made an unannounced visit to Kenney’s Idaho home. She agreed to cooperate after getting an attorney and understanding that she’d receive a plea deal.
That nearly 5-hour interview eventually happened December 20th at the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Frazee was arrested the next day, a surprising turn to those that knew him and Berreth.
“When you find the right person and you get engaged, it’s really exciting. And we just never expected things to turn out like this,” said Nicole Haywood, one of Berreth’s friends.
Kenney took police to the ranch, Frazee’s property, and Berreth’s home on the 21st, confirming her story with signs of evidence police hadn’t found previously.
She eventually entered a guilty plea on a charge of tampering as part of a plea deal on February 8th in exchange for her testimony against Frazee.
Kenney also told investigators that Frazee may have disposed of Berreth’s body at the Midway Landfill in El Paso County.
That’s why a search effort was launched at the landfill looking for any sign of her.
While that search continues for Berreth’s body, Frazee’s future lies in the Teller County Courthouse, facing 8 total counts connected to the presumed murder.
He has yet to enter a plea, as attorneys on both sides are preparing for a potential trial.