The fiancé of a Colorado woman missing since Thanksgiving Day has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder and solicitation of murder.
Police are still searching for the body of 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth but said they have enough evidence to tie 32-year-old Patrick Frazee to her alleged death.
“Patrick was taken into custody this morning in Florissant, Colorado,” Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said at a Friday press conference. “While we have not found Kelsey at this time, information has been developed that is helping to narrow down our search.”
De Young declined to explain why Frazee has been accused of solicitation of murder. According to Section 18-2-301 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, the charge applies to someone attempting to promote or facilitate a felony crime.
It suggests police suspect that someone else was involved in or has knowledge of the alleged homicide of Berreth. Asked by a reporter if additional arrests will be made, De Young said it’s an “absolute possibility.”
Berreth, a flight instructor and mother, hasn’t been seen since late November. She was reported missing earlier this month by her mother, who lives in Idaho.
When interviewed by police, Frazee allegedly said that he last saw Berreth when he picked up their 1-year-old daughter on Nov. 22. He claimed that he received a text message from her on Nov. 25, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, police said.
Earlier in the investigation, police said Berreth’s cellphone had pinged a tower in Idaho, roughly 600 miles away. While authorities initially cautioned that it could be a “false ping,” De Young has now said that the information was accurate.
“Her phone did end up in Idaho and we’re still working to recover that phone,” the police chief said.
Berreth’s disappearance was officially labeled a missing-person investigation until Friday, but De Young did call her disappearance “suspicious” last week and pleaded with Frazee to “sit down with investigators.”
On Friday, De Young did not say when or how Berreth may have been killed but noted that investigators have recovered a “number of items” suggesting she was killed at her Woodland Park residence.
Shortly after Berreth was reported missing, police conducted several searches of both her home and Frazee’s 35-acre ranch in Florissant.
The most recent search was conducted Tuesday after eyewitnesses told Colorado Springs’ KRDO News that they had spotted him the previous day dropping off trash at a Teller County waste management facility. Authorities seized the trash, according to KRDO.
Frazee is being held without bond at the Teller County Jail. He is not expected to go before a judge for arraignment until next week, authorities said.
De Young said that Berreth’s daughter, who had been in Frazee’s custody since her disappearance, is now in protective custody. Berreth’s family, he added, does not want to speak with the media.
“I cannot stress enough that this is a difficult time for Kelsey’s family,” the police chief said. “They are not providing interviews, period.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Woodland Park Police Department at 719-687-9262 or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation at 719-647-5999.