Arrest of missing Colorado woman’s fiance is no surprise, but murder charge doesn’t answer key questions

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A Colorado man has been arrested and charged with the murder of his missing fiancé.

Early Friday morning authorities with the Woodland Park Police Department arrested Patrick Frazee on suspicion of murdering his fiancé, Kelsey Berreth, for reasons that remain unclear.

Berreth was last seen Thanksgiving Day entering a store with her 1-year-old daughter, Kaylee. Afterward, she left Kaylee with Frazee, spoke with her mother and texted her flight instructor.

“Berreth’s mother told CBS News’ Nikki Battiste last week the couple was excited to get married, but hadn’t set a wedding date. The woman said she last spoke to her daughter on Thanksgiving, and she seemed happy and normal,” CBS News reported.

She also texted her flight instructor to say that she planned to take a week off from classes.

Following these communications, the 29-year-old mother seemingly disappeared off the face of the Earth, spurring her mother to contact local authorities and request a checkup on Dec 2.

With local authorities unable to locate Berreth, a formal investigation was then launched and the separate homes of both the missing mother and her fiancé thoroughly searched.

As of Saturday, the mother still remains missing, though local authorities have concluded that she’s most likely dead and was murdered by Frazee.

“Patrick Frazee was charged this morning with first-degree murder and solicitation for first-degree murder. That is what he was booked in on,” El Paso County District Attorney Dan May announced during a presser following the suspect’s arrest.

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But neither he nor Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young explained the solicitation charge nor offered any explanation for why they believe Berreth is dead. It’s a discrepancy that the missing mother’s cousin, JoDee Garretson, doesn’t understand.

“I was thinking they were going to share more concrete reasons why they believe she was dead,” she said in an interview with the Daily Mail.

“I don’t know what to feel at this point,” she added. “It doesn’t feel real, it really doesn’t. It feels like these things don’t happen, but they do and I get that, but it doesn’t feel like it. I think for me I’m probably waiting to hear more details which is horrible-sounding I’m sure, but to make it more real.”

She said that Frazee, a cattle rancher, met Berreth online in 2016. The two hit it off so well that Berreth soon relocated to Colorado and gave birth to their first child, Kaylee, in October of 2017, though the two never moved in together, instead choosing to live separately.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

After Frazee’s arrest Friday, Kaylee was reportedly placed in protective custody and remains slated to be reunited with the missing mother’s immediate family.

“My first concern is Kelsey’s very immediate family, I worry so much for Kaylee, for Cheryl, her dad Darell and her brother,” Garretson said, adding that she does nevertheless hope answers appear soon.

“That’s where my first thoughts go, but definitely secondary to that absolutely I hope that all the answers come out so the family can have all the questions answered and justice is done. Right now where my heart is just with her family.”

During the presser Friday, Sheriff De Young did confirm that one, Berreth’s phone has been traced to Idaho via cell phone records but not yet physically located, and two, that during his team’s search of the missing mother’s home, they found evidence of a crime.

He also revealed that Frazee’s mother, a registered nurse, has been detained but not arrested. He had reportedly lived with her at her ranch. According to the Daily Mail, Berreth had avoided moving in with her fiancé in part because of this unusual living arrangement.

Other than for this tiny bit of information, not much else is known yet.

However, social media users did not seem shocked by the arrest, particularly given that Frazee had reportedly refused to speak to the media during the police’s investigation.

 

It’s unclear though whether he didn’t cooperate with the authorities.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …

Vivek Saxena

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