~ by Trevor Phipps ~
Two weeks ago, an extensive search for Kelsey Berreth’s body began at the Midway trash landfill located south of Colorado Springs.
In addition, Patrick Frazee, suspected of killing Berreth, appeared in court again early last week for yet another hearing during which more restrictions were lifted on law enforcement information pertaining to the case.
These are the latest developments in a troubling saga that has attracted national attention and will undoubtedly put Teller County on the crime map.
Berreth was reported missing last December when her mother could not get a hold of her for over a week. Weeks after the missing person case, police arrested Florissant resident Patrick Frazee on five felony charges including first degree murder. Police then announced to the public that they had strong evidence suggesting that Berreth was not alive even though her body or any remains had not yet been located.
At first, all of the details relating to why Frazee was arrested for murder were sealed to the public. But during Frazee’s preliminary hearing held in Cripple Creek earlier this month most of the gruesome details of the murder came out. After the preliminary hearing, all of the arrest warrant information was released. After the arraignment last week, a judge ordered that all of the search warrant information would be released as well.
During last week’s hearing Frazee’s defense attorney argued against unsealing the search warrant paperwork saying that it would hit the media instantly and any possible jury would have already heard many of the case’s details. The judge denied the request and granted the motion filed by several media outlets to release all of the hundreds of pages of search warrant info. Frazee’s arraignment was then rescheduled to April 5 so the defense had more time to look over the discovery information.
During the first preliminary hearing, Agent Gregg Slater with the CBI gave a testimony describing what he had heard during an interview he had with Idaho woman Krystal Kenney who police claim was directly connected to Frazee and had participated in the murder of Berreth by cleaning up the crime scene and taking Berreth’s phone to Idaho where she sent text messages to people connected to Berreth from the phone before destroying it.
According to the story told to Agent Slater by the Idaho nurse, Frazee had tried to get her to kill Berreth on three separate occasions. However, according to her story, Kenney did not go through with committing murder which drove Frazee to do it himself on Thanksgiving Day last year.
After Frazee committed murder he called Kenney and told her, “you have a mess to clean up.” Kenney arrived in Woodland Park two days later to help Frazee try to cover up the awful crimes he had committed. Kenney started by arriving at Berreth’s home and cleaning up the crime scene equipped with a body suit, hairnet, plastic gloves, and bleach. According to her story, Frazee ordered her to clean up Berreth’s house and to specifically look for a tooth that was dislodged during the brutal beating Frazee conducted using a baseball bat after he tricked Berreth and blindfolded her.
Kenney claimed that she did find the dislodged tooth while she cleaned up blood all over the townhouse. She then put a number of items into a bag and met Frazee at a gas station in Florissant where he filled up a gas can and took her to a ranch in Fremont County where Frazee had stored Berreth’s body. Frazee tried to get Kenney to dispose of the body but Kenney refused.
The two then took the body that was stored inside a large plastic tote, the evidence Kenney had cleaned up at the crime scene, and the murder weapon to his ranch in Florissant where he burned it all inside a metal trough using gasoline, motor oil and firewood. Kenney told the CBI agent that Frazee said he scooped out the burnt human remains and was going to put them in a river or a landfill.
The release of the search warrants last week gave some new information about the case. According to the police records, during the search of Frazee’s property investigators found five adult teeth spread across two different rooms in the house. It has not been said if it was verified that the teeth belonged to Berreth or not.
The documents also discussed a situation where Frazee flipped out at the hospital during the birth of his daughter. According to accounts from Berreth’s mother Cheryl Berreth, the couple’s daughter was born weeks premature and the hospital made the decision to isolate the baby from her mother. This upset Frazee and he allegedly began verbally abusing the nurses at the hospital so bad to the point that they called social services. The baby was then put in temporary custody by social services until they determined whether or not Frazee was physically abusive to the mother of his newborn child.
Another document in the records caught the attention of social media and news outlets that showed a post from someone named Sheila McCorkle-Frazee that said, “YAY the witch is dead,” posted just hours after police think Berreth was murdered. But, the police said they investigated it and the post did not come from Patrick Frazee’s mother Sheila Frazee.
Based on the information received by Kenney, police went to the Midway landfill and sectioned off an area to search. According to police, the region of the landfill is approximately four football fields in size. The investigators will have to sort through up to ten feet deep of trash in the rather large area in order to locate the body.
Since the crime took place in Woodland Park, the city’s police department is leading the search and the city is paying the bill. Recently, police departments in Pueblo and Fountain sent investigators to the landfill to help the Woodland Park police with the search.