Fiancé of Missing Colo. Mom Beat Her With Bat After Blindfolding Her for Candle Smell Test: Nurse
A judge decided Tuesday there was sufficient evidence against Patrick Frazee for his murder trial to proceed
The fiancé of missing Colorado mom Kelsey Berreth allegedly beat her to death with a baseball bat on Thanksgiving before cleaning up the crime scene with the woman he was having an affair with and then burning the body in a water trough, the woman allegedly told prosecutors.
According to multiple news reports, Patrick Frazee allegedly convinced the 29-year-old Berreth, who authorities presume was murdered, to wrap a sweater around her head so that she could guess the scent of various candles.
Once Berreth’s head was covered, Frazee, 32, allegedly bludgeoned her to death with a baseball bat before stashing her body on a nearby ranch for two days, reports ABC.
Prosecutors presented their case against Frazee during a hearing on Tuesday. By the end of the proceeding, a judge determined there was sufficient evidence for Frazee to stand trial for Berreth’s murder, according to CNN.
Investigators learned the alleged details about Berreth’s presumed murder from Krystal Jean Lee Kenney, an Idaho nurse who admitted in court earlier this month she helped Frazee dispose of Berreth’s cell phone as part of a guilty plea to tampering with evidence.
Kenney agreed to testify against Frazee at his upcoming trial and will not be sentenced until after the trial.
Kenney and Frazee were romantically involved, and prosecutors allege he tried to convince her on at least three occasions to carry out the murder herself — expressing anger whenever she refused.
Berreth, a flight instructor from Woodland Park, Colorado, has not been seen since Nov. 22, 2018.
Frazee has been in custody since Dec. 21, when police arrested him on two counts of murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder. The couple, who did not live together, were raising their 1-year-old daughter together.
According to KMGH, Colorado Bureau of Investigation Agent Gregg Slater testified Tuesday that Kenney told police Frazee suggested several ways that she could kill Berreth, including poisoning her coffee and beating her with a metal rod. He allegedly gave Kenney the false impression his daughter was being abused by Berreth.
Within hours of the murder, prosecutors allege Frazee called Kenney, telling her she needed to drive to Colorado: “You got a mess to clean up,” Frazee allegedly said.
Kenney arrived at Berreth’s residence two days later, and found a “horrific” scene with blood spattered on the walls and floors, Slater testified.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
She said she spent hours cleaning the home, and that Frazee allegedly told her at one point, “You don’t know how hard it is to have Thanksgiving dinner after killing her.”
Once the alleged crime scene was clean, Kenney said she went with Frazee to retrieve the body, and both watched as Frazee burned the victim’s remains with the baseball bat somewhere on his property.
She told police Frazee said he planned to throw the charred remains in a dump or river.
Prosecutors also presented evidence showing Kenney took Berreth’s phone back to Idaho, where she sent text messages to Frazee and Berreth’s employer posing as the dead woman.
She later burned the phone, it was revealed Tuesday.
Berreth’s mother, who lives out of state, reported her missing 10 days after she was seen on surveillance footage with her daughter on Thanksgiving.
Prosecutors allege the killing was planned over two months, but have yet to discuss a possible motive for the crime.
But in an amended lawsuit, Berreth’s parents alleged Frazee killed her because he wanted custody over the couple’s daughter.
Frazee, who will be arraigned April 8, has yet to enter pleas to the charges of murder, solicitation to commit murder, tampering with a deceased body, and committing a crime of violence he faces.
Also on Tuesday, prosecutors revealed they discovered Berreth’s blood on the wall, the door, the bathtub, the toilet and a trash can of a bathroom in her home.
PEOPLE’s calls to Frazee’s attorney Stephen Longo were not immediately returned.