Dozens of state and federal law enforcement officers descended on a rural Colorado property belonging to the fiancé of missing mom Kelsey Berreth as police pleaded with him to cooperate.
“We are asking Patrick [Frazee] to sit down with investigators since he is the last person to speak to Kelsey face to face,” Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said Friday.
Berreth, a 29-year-old flight instructor, has been missing since Thanksgiving Day. Frazee, 32, told investigators he last saw her when he picked up their 1-year-old daughter that afternoon. Frazee did not report Berreth missing and has been noticeably absent from press conferences, although his lawyer last week insisted the fiance is cooperating with investigators.
Police on Friday executed a search warrant at Frazee’s 35-acre ranch in Florissant, where he’s living with the couple’s daughter. Nearly 100 searchers from several law enforcement agencies participated in the two-day search, which included the use of a backhoe and ended on Saturday. Authorities didn’t disclose whether they discovered anything useful.
De Young declined to say what prompted the weekend search, but said detectives had “enough information” to obtain a search warrant. The affidavit in support of the warrant has been sealed by a judge.
“There are a number of other things that we have done up to this point that has led to us to be able to search the residence,” De Young said.
Frazee’s attorney, Jeremy Loew, said police never sought permission to search the property before getting the warrant.
“Frazee was never asked to voluntarily participate in this search,” Loew, of Colorado Springs, said in a Friday statement. “We encourage law enforcement to take whatever steps it deems necessary to find Kelsey Berreth and to be able to exclude Patrick Frazee as a possible suspect.”
While police say Frazee has been uncooperative, Loew claimed just the opposite.
“Mr. Frazee’s cooperation includes interviews with law enforcement, voluntarily releasing his phone to be searched by law enforcement,” swabs for DNA comparisons and photographs, Loew told HuffPost on Wednesday.
Berreth’s mother, Cheryl Berreth, who lives in Idaho, reported her daughter’s disappearance on Dec. 2. Cheryl Berreth has appeared at police press conferences, but the family has released few details about Kelsey Berreth or her relationship with Frazee.
Frazee told investigators he received a text message from his fiancee on Nov. 25, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, police said.
Someone at Kelsey Berreth’s employer, Doss Aviation in Pueblo, also received a text message from her on Nov. 25, investigators said. The message, according to De Young, was that Berreth would not be coming to work the following week.
Police later received data indicating Berreth’s cellphone was near Gooding, Idaho, nearly 800 miles from her Woodland Park home, but authorities said they were uncertain about the accuracy of the data.
Police last week released surveillance footage taken on Nov. 22 that shows Berreth shopping with her daughter at a Safeway in Woodland Park, some 20 miles northwest of Colorado Springs ― the last confirmed sighting before she handed off her child to Frazee, police said.
Frazee has not been charged in Berreth’s disappearance. Asked by a reporter Friday if Frazee is a suspect, De Young said he’s not “willing to jump to conclusions or label people.”
Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the whereabouts of Berreth. An anonymous donor provided the reward money on Saturday, according to De Young.
Kelsey Berreth is described as a white female with brown hair, approximately 5 foot 3 and 110 pounds.
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.