"The moment that I found out that she had been missing, the first words that came out of my mouth were, 'He did something to her,' " Ashley Cogburn said
“The moment that I found out that she had been missing, the first words that came out of my mouth were, ‘He did something to her,’ ” Ashley Cogburn told CBS News of Berreth, who is presumed to be dead.
Frazee, who faces two counts of murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder, was always “mad about something,” according to Cogburn, who met Berreth in elementary school and grew up together in Washington state.
On Thanksgiving 2018, surveillance video captured Berreth and her 1-year-old daughter Kaylee entering a local supermarket. That was the last time she was seen publicly.
Earlier this month, Berreth’s parents, Cheryl and Darrell, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Colorado’s federal district court. The lawsuit, which was obtained by PEOPLE, seeks unspecified damages against Frazee for Berreth’s presumed death.
Recalling how Frazee could be “somewhat demeaning” towards Berreth, Cogburn said, “She couldn’t win … the things that he would say to her were somewhat demeaning.”
Cogburn added, “I remember one time, in particular, she came to me and she was just crying. And Kelsey is this – she’s a tough girl … and I can’t remember specifics, but I just remember gathering, ‘This person is borderline emotionally abusive to you right now.’ “
Frazee, who did not live with Berreth, told police that he and his fiancée met up that same day so that Berreth could hand off their daughter to him.
Berreth’s mother, who lives out of state, reported her missing 10 days later, on Dec. 2, 2018.
While Teller County investigators have yet to detail the specific allegations that led to the solicitation counts, it likely means prosecutors think Frazee allegedly solicited an individual three times or three people on three separate occasions as part of an alleged murder plot.
The alleged solicitations occurred between Sept. 1 and Nov. 1, 2018, according to the charging documents, which were obtained by PEOPLE.
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According to the charging documents, prosecutors filed two murder counts because they have two theories about how the presumed killing may have taken place: either Frazee killed Berreth by himself, or he and someone else allegedly tried to rob Berreth before she was killed.
At first, Cogburn believed that Berreth was still alive after learning of Frazee’s arrest. “I wanted to hold onto hope that that wasn’t the case. You know, so you – I grasped onto, ‘Well, maybe somebody took her. Maybe.’ I think deep down I knew,” she said.
Frazee remains in police custody without bond. He has not yet entered pleas to the charges, and his criminal attorney could not be reached for comment. It is unclear if Frazee has representation in the civil case.