More Arrests Possible After Fiancé of Missing Colo. Mom Is Accused of Murder, Solicitation
Kelsey Berreth has not been seen since Thanksgiving Day, and authorities say they are searching for her body
Police said Friday that more arrests are possible after the fiancé of a still-missing Colorado mom was arrested on accusations he solicited someone to kill the woman, who is presumed dead.
Patrick Frazee, 32, the fiancé of 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and solicitation to commit murder.
“Sadly, we do not believe Kelsey is still alive,” Woodland Park, Colorado, police Chief Mies De Young said at a news conference confirming the arrest.
Berreth, a 29-year-old pilot instructor and mother to the couple’s 1-year-old daughter, has not been seen since Thanksgiving Day, when Frazee told police the couple, who lived separately, met up so that he could take the child from Berreth. The exchange occurred sometime after Berreth and her daughter were spotted by surveillance video entering a Safeway market at midday.
Berreth’s mother reported her daughter missing 10 days later, on Dec. 2.
The search for Berreth’s body continues, authorities said.
They withheld many details of the ongoing investigation, such as whether a hired killer actually carried out the alleged crime or where they believe the victim’s body might be found.
Asked if additional arrests may be coming, De Young said, “That’s an absolute possibility.”
He said “investigators have discovered a number of items that make us suspicious that the crime did occur at Kelsey’s residence.”
He said the couple’s daughter has been taken from Frazee and placed in protective custody, and “will be reunited with Kelsey’s family.”
He described a “methodical and time-consuming,” multi-state investigation involving several agencies including the FBI, and added, “while we have not found Kelsey at this time, information has been developed to help us narrow down our search.”
He credited cell phone records and other unspecified data that led to Frazee’s arrest, and confirmed that Berreth’s cell phone — while not yet recovered by local authorities — did wind up in Idaho, where it pinged on a cell tower near Gooding, nearly 600 miles from her home three days after she disappeared.
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On that same day, a text from Berreth’s phone was sent to her employer, Doss Aviation, saying she would not be at work the following week. Frazee also had told authorities he received a text that day from Berreth.
Last Friday, investigators searched the home and 35-acre property of Frazee, who lives in Florissant, about 15 miles west of Woodland Park.
At the time of that search, Frazee’s attorney, Jeremy Loew, said in a statement to PEOPLE: “Mr. Frazee hopes and prays for Ms. Berreth’s return.”
Loew did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call and email for comment following the arrest.
Frazee is being held in the Teller County jail. Formal charges against him likely will be entered in about 10 days, said District Attorney Dan May.