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Forensics experts say blood evidence from townhome overwhelmingly matches Berreth

Posted: 10:32 AM, Nov 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-13 22:22:13-05
Patrick Frazee and Kelsey Berreth

TELLER COUNTY — The murder trial of Patrick Frazee enters its eighth day Wednesday morning following testimony from Frazee's former lover, clients and the investigators who searched Krystal Kenney's home. Click here to read the rest of the testimonies from Tuesday.

As cameras, live tweeting and live blogging are not allowed during these proceedings, all of the information from the courtroom is drawn from extensive notes made by News 5's Sam Kraemer. Follow his updates online and on-air on News5 at 5, 6 and 10 p.m.

The judge in the case announced mid-morning that closing arguments could get underway this Friday. It was just yesterday he mentioned attorneys had up to 60 witnesses to call for their testimony this week. So far, the case is likely on track to wrap up in the previously announced three week time frame.

For more of our coverage from the beginning of Kelsey Berreth's case, you can click here .

Testimony so far on Day 8 - Wednesday, November 13:

CBI Forensic expert retakes the stand

Caitlin Rogers, forensic scientist for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, retakes the stand.

She again points out where she marked stains and took samples from for presumptive and DNA testing. She again says the profile was 100 septillion times more likely to be observed if it originated from Kelsey Berreth than an unknown alternate person. This was a single source profile. All genetic material matched Kelsey.

Next Rogers was show a portion of hardwood floor from the living room. Rogers says she did a presumptive blood test on red-brown stains. She says the presumptive test was positive. Her July 10 report shows the profile is a two person mixture. The mixture is at least 150 quadrillion times more likely to be observed from Kelsey Berret and an unknown individual than two other unknown individuals. It’s also much more likely to originate from Sue Gorney and an unknown individual. This mixture is at least 36 undecillion (number followed by 36 zeros) times more likely to originate from Kelsey Berreth and Sue Gorney. So it’s likely this is Sue Gorney and KB.

Next, is the hay sample from Nash Ranch. Rogers tried a presumptive blood test on this. It was negative. She did a DNA test. It did not detect the presence of human DNA.

Rogers was then asked if she analyzed a possible tooth fragment. Rogers says she did. Once it was photographed, Rogers swabbed the exterior of the “top” of the possible tooth fragment and the sides (not the bottom). A presumptive test for blood was negative on those swabs. A test for saliva was also negative. Then she did a DNA test on the swab. Human DNA was detected, male DNA was not. She tried to develop a DNA profile, but there wasn’t enough DNA present to develop a profile. After she swabbed it, she returned it so it could be tested outside the agency (beyond the scope of the CBI lab). It’s her understanding that outside analysis was mitochondrial testing. She says they do STR and YSTR DNA testing. She says mitochondrial is an additional option that might be more successful in small samples, but says it doesn’t narrow down to a specific person like their testing. When asked, and while reading the FBI report dated July 8, Rogers says they were was insufficient mitochondria present to obtain a profile from that tooth fragment. They did not have an adequate amount of DNA. As part of that testing, the tooth fragment was consumed (consumptive testing).

Former townhome owner talks about flooring, possible blood spots

Sue Gorner was called to testify by prosecutors on a line of questioning about the flooring found in the townhome she sold to Berreth in 2018, the possibility of blood being under the floorboards from an incident not related to this case, and if she ever dropped blood in the home. Gorner says she had the hardwood flooring installed right before she sold the place to Kelsey Berreth. As for the possibility of someone else's blood in the home? She admits she has thin skin and is prone to bruising and cut skin very easily. She recalls cutting herself when moving and leaving some blood droplets, however she testified she cleaned extensively before leaving the unit.

Forensic anthropologist and CBI expert discuss tooth fragment and blood

Following Gorner's admission of cutting herself on occasion, plus cleaning up before leaving, the prosecution called Dr. Diane France, a forensic anthropologist. Dr. France was contacted as part of the landfill search effort for remains and to examine a tooth fragment. The search at the Midway landfill did not turn up any evidence of human bones. But France was given the tooth fragment prosecutors say were taken from Kelsey's townhome during an extensive search. She says the fragment was determined not to be a dog, horse, elk tooth; and is 80% confident it is a human tooth, however that could be 100% with DNA testing. There were concerns about destroying the entire sample with this testing.

The prosecution then called Caitlin Rogers, a forensic scientist for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, who specializes in forensic serology and DNA analysis. Rogers analyzed samples from buccal swabs collected from the Berreth family, Krystal Kenney and Patrick Frazee. She also handled the blood evidence collected by investigators.

Under questioning Rogers said the following samples yielded the following results:

  • Blood evidence from Kelsey's tub showed a mixture of two people. It’s much more likely (46 times septillion) to be Kelsey's and an unknown individual than two unknown individuals. She says it’s also 100,000 times more likely to be Sue Gorney and an unknown individual than two unknown individuals. The prosecutor asked, "Is it fair to say Kelsey is the main contributor?" Rogers says yes.
  • Blood evidence from the bathroom toilet is of a female. It’s at least 108 septillion times more likely to be a sample from Kelsey than another individual. Essentially, saying she’s the main contributor here. All genetic material was consistent with Kelsey.
  • A possible blood sample from the front fireplace came back with a partial DNA profile that was 100 septillion times more likely to be from Kelsey than from anyone else. Again, strong evidence Kelsey is the main contributor.
  • In regards to samples from the baby gate, Rogers said she did a presumptive blood test that came back positive and is also 100 septillion times more likely to be from Kelsey than from anyone else. Again, strong evidence Kelsey is the main contributor.

Doss Aviation coworkers share memories of Kelsey

Through testimony we've heard many people describe hearing Patrick Frazee claim he was concerned about Kelsey Berreth's behavior, possible substance abuse and possible child abuse toward their daughter Kaylee. The prosecution called her coworkers at Doss Aviation to share their memories of Berreth and interactions with her daughter.

Flight instructor Carolyn Sharp worked alongside Berreth when she first joined Doss Aviation and was undergoing training while pregnant. She recalls how Berreth had to stop the training halfway through her pregnancy as she could no longer fit comfortably in the cockpit. She described Berreth as very private, quiet, reserved but really sweet.

At one point she explains Berreth's body language changed following a phone call with Frazee and Berreth said he wasn't treating her well. Fast forward to Berreth's return to work after maternity leave and Sharp says Berreth talked about her daughter all the time and brought her by for visits at work during non-flight times.

Sharp recalls Kaylee as beautiful, well-behaved, happy. Sharp says most babies scream when she holds them, but not Kaylee. She says she didn’t see any abuse on Kaylee. She says Berreth loved being a mom and can’t understand how she did it as a single mom.

“What a woman of strength to be able to do that. I don’t know if I could,” Sharp says.

A prosecutor asks if Sharp ever had concerns about alcohol and drugs with Berreth, to which she says there were never any signs, only stress tied to being a mom and a high-pressure job.

Robert Hill, another flight instructor for Doss Aviation, says Berreth told him about "a random lady" who came to her house with coffee. This is in reference to Krystal Kenney's testimony she went to Berreth's home with coffee, not poisoned as she alleges Frazee wanted, and spoke with Berreth under false pretenses. Hill says he spoke to Berreth about how strange the incident was, but does not remember if she mentioned drinking the coffee.

When talking about her relationship with Frazee, Hill recalls she would say he was "good and working," then changed to say he was “acting like a dick” and causing her stress. When Berreth brought her daughter around he mentions never seeing any signs of abuse or anything unusual about the relationship between mother and daughter.

Human Resources partners for Doss Aviation recall conversations with Frazee

Jennifer Barks was called to testify about her efforts to reach out to Frazee during the first days Berreth was missing. As a member of the Human Resources team at Doss Aviation, Barks found a contact number for Frazee in Berreth's file. She recalls calling him Dec. 3, the Monday after Berreth was reported missing, to make sure he was aware she was missing. During the conversation, Frazee asked if she knew anyone who could take care of his daughter Kaylee, according to Banks.

What was more concerning to Banks was Frazee claiming Berreth had a drinking problem, something she says she challenged as fellow pilots and people at work would have noticed an issue like that due to the nature of their work.

According to Banks, Frazee had no reply. The jury asked if Doss Aviation conducted random alcohol or drug screenings. Banks says they did not conduct any with Berreth.

She also recalls telling Frazee he was listed as the beneficiary on Berreth's company life insurance policy, however that was later found to be false as the company was in the process of changing benefits and Berreth did not complete the paperwork. Berreth had also changed her status from being a full-time employee to a part-time employee in November 2018.

Background:

Patrick Frazee is accused of first-degree murder for the death of his fiancee, Kelsey Berreth, despite investigators never recovering her body since she was last seen alive on surveillance video inside the Woodland Park Safeway on Thanskgiving 2018.

Woodland Park Police have not found Berreth's remains. Berreth, 29, is presumed dead after prosecutors said Frazee, 33, her fiancé, beat her to death on Thanksgiving 2018. In December of last year, Patrick Frazee was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

He faces eight total charges — 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 — for the presumed murder of Kelsey Berreth on Thanksgiving 2018. Click here to see the criminal complaint and arrest affidavit.

We will be updating this timeline with information from each testimony as the trial continues.