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Affidavit details what happened in days leading up to, after Kelsey Berreth’s death

Posted: 3:14 PM, Feb 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-20 18:14:49-05
Affidavit details what happened in days leading up to, after Kelsey Berreth’s death

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. — After Tuesday’s hours-long preliminary hearing for Patrick Frazee , who is accused of murdering his 29-year-old fiancee Kelsey Berreth, more information about the days around the Woodland Park, Colorado, mother’s death have come to the surface in an affidavit released Wednesday morning.

To recap: On Dec. 31, 2018, Frazee was charged with first-degree murder , first-degree murder after deliberation, three counts of solicitation for first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body and two crime of violence sentence enhancers. According to details from Tuesday’s preliminary hearing , he killed her with a baseball bat in her home and solicited Krystal Lee Kenney, whom he had previously dated, of Idaho to help him.

The case started on Dec. 2, when Berreth’s mother contacted the Woodland Park Police Department and told them she hadn’t been able to communicate with her daughter for more than a week. She asked them to check on her daughter.

About two and a half months later, investigators had arrested Frazee , charged Kenney and announced they believed Berreth had been brutally murdered.

Kenney spills details on scene in Berreth’s home

On Nov. 22 around 4:30 p.m., while she was in Idaho, Kenney received a text from Frazee: “You need to get here now. You’ve got a mess to clean up.”

She told authorities that when she received that text, she “understood that as Berreth had been killed,” according to the affidavit.

While Kenney wasn’t present for the alleged murder, she said Frazee described it in detail. He said he had blindfolded Berreth to have her guess the scents of different candles. While she was distracted, he hit her with a baseball bat in the face, killing her.

When she arrived at Berreth’s home, Kenney said it was a horrific scene with blood everywhere.

“Blood was on the curtains, pillows, books, baby toys, stuffed animals, oven mitts, Berreth’s purse, and other items,” according to the affidavit.

Blood had also been splattered on the floor of the kitchen, walls, ceiling, TV, pictures, couch and books.

Kaylee, Frazee and Berreth’s 1-year-old daughter, was in a playpen in a back bedroom at the time of the alleged murder.

In a white suit that covered her whole body, plus a hair net, booties and gloves, Kenney spent hours cleaning the residence. She used the shower to help clean the scene, she told authorities.

Kenney packed up bloodied items and removed them from the home, she said.

While cleaning, she also found a tooth on the ground. Frazee had told her he was concerned that a tooth had been left behind because he had hit Berreth in the face with the bat.

Kenney said she disposed of the tooth as well.

Despite her cleaning efforts, crime scene investigators found blood on the base of a toilet, towel rack, door handle, ceiling and other areas in the home after Berreth’s family members, who were living in the apartment, told authorities about a substance they had found on the toilet. They also said it was odd for Berreth to leave her toiletries behind if she’d gone on a trip.

Investigators found unknown male and unknown female DNA in the apartment, and they said the male profile is unlikely to be Frazee, based on lab reports.

Getting rid of the body in Florissant

Frazee moved Berreth’s body from her home in a black plastic tote, according to the affidavit. He drove to Nash Ranch in Park County on Nov. 22 and, using a tractor, placed the bag on top of a haystack.

In the afternoon or early evening of Nov. 24, Frazee and Kenney moved the tote from the ranch and drove it in his pickup back to his home in Florissant. Between 5:01 p.m. and 6:14 p.m., cell phones from both of them, as well as Berreth’s phone, pinged off a cell tower outside Cripple Creek, which is about 30 minutes south of Florissant.

Kenney told investigators that Frazee put the tote and other items from the house in a large trough — one that could hold about 100 gallons. Using motor oil and at least five gallons of gasoline, Frazee set the tote on fire.

Frazee asked Kenney to bring the body back to Idaho, but she refused. He said that as an alternative, she had to bring Berreth’s firearm back home. He told her he wanted authorities to believe she had killed herself, according to the affidavit.

On Nov. 24 and 25, Kenney traveled back to Idaho and at the direction of Frazee, texted Berreth’s supervisor, mother and Frazee “with the intent of distracting law enforcement at the direction of Frazee,” according to the affidavit.

Frazee allegedly tried to have Kenney carry out murder

Planning Berreth’s murder had been on Frazee’s mind since as early as September, Kenney told investigators during an interview on Dec. 20. He had asked for Kenney’s help on several occasions to kill the woman.

He claimed Berreth was an abusive mother toward their child and that he wanted her dead. Authorities have said they didn’t find any evidence of abuse.

The duo planned several attempted murders — Kenney was always the person to kill Berreth at the direction of Frazee. On one occasion, he asked her to bring Berreth poisoned coffee. On another, he gave her a metal pipe and told her to hit Berreth in the back of the head. Kenney did not follow-through on either of the plans.

Still, Kenney “took specific and significant steps toward accomplishing the murder,” the affidavit read.

Between Sept. 1 and Nov. 22, 2018, Frazee solicited Kenney on at least three separate occasions, according to the affidavit.

Authorities started to become suspicious of Frazee after talking with him on Dec. 2 . On Dec. 13, they were granted a search warrant to search his home. A bottle of bleach and a Swiffer were found with positive test for blood, though lab results are pending. They also found a document dated Dec. 12, 2018 with a list of five people who could provide medical care for Berreth and Frazee’s daughter. It was only signed by Frazee.

Cell phone data starts to paint a picture for authorities

On Nov. 22 around 12:30 p.m., Berreth’s phone missed a call from Frazee. Both devices pinged a nearby cell tower in Woodland Park, indicating they were in the area of Berreth’s home.

Later that day, the phones were pinged by towers Cripple Creek, and were likely traveling together, according to the affidavit.

The following day, on Nov. 23, both phones used a cell tower in Florissant, along a sector that faced Frazee’s home. He called her phone that morning before the phones traveled toward Cripple Creek again, and then back to the Florissant home.

Both phones used the cell tower again near Cripple Creek on Nov. 24.

Analysis after this showed that Berreth’s phone likely moved from Colorado on I-70 through Salt Lake City, Utah and into Idaho.

The last known activity on Berreth’s phone was on Nov. 25 at 6:13 p.m. from a tower in Gooding, Idaho. The Gooding County Sheriff’s Office was unable to find the phone.

Authorities start to question Kenney

On Dec. 14, the FBI contacted Kenney to ask her about the case. When asked, she said she had talked with Frazee within the past month or month and a half, and had visited his home in Florissant on Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. She said she visited to look at a horse and then drove back home.

Kenney also told them she had had no idea who Berreth was until she heard the news that she was missing. She added that Frazee never instructed her to get rid of a phone.

Investigators learned that Frazee had made up this story for Kenney to tell FBI agents if they called her. They also learned that on Nov. 24, the day Kenney claimed to be in Florissant, the two had called each other multiple times, which was odd since they were likely at the same residence, according to the affidavit.

Shortly after this, authorities were granted a search warrant for call records and historical cell site information related to Kenney’s phone.

On the day that Frazee’s phone was seized — Dec. 4, 2018 — Kenney set up a new phone number after telling her ex-husband she had lost her phone and needed a new one.

On Dec. 17, CBI and FBI agents interviewed Kenney at her home in Idaho. While she said she wanted to be cooperative, she wanted to speak with her attorney before talking with investigators more.

Kenney’s ex-husband, friends notice something odd

FBI agents talked with Kenney’s ex-husband during the investigation. He said they had been married for eight years and divorced in the summer of 2018. They still shared a home in Idaho and have two children.

On Nov. 24 and 25, a few days after the alleged murder, Kenney told him that she was going to a birthday party at a friend’s house and then was helping one of her friends move out of her home. Kenney’s ex-husband said he found out later that these were lies.

The FBI called Kenney on Dec. 14 and she appeared nervous after that, he said. She admitted to him that she had actually gone to Colorado to see a horse that she and Frazee owned. She thought somebody had set her up and that’s why the FBI had called, her ex-husband said.

Frazee and Kenney had dated in College, he said, and had been involved in a sexual relationship until at least 2016. He didn’t provide any other details on the affair to the interviewing authorities.

Investigators also talked with Kenney’s friend, who has known her for about 10 years. The women had traded cars, as they often did, since Kenney owned a pickup truck and the friend needed one because she was moving.

While Kenney was allegedly in Colorado — having driven in her friend’s car — helping to clean the scene of the crime, she texted her friend asking if she could spend the night at her house because she had had too much to drink. Her friend told authorities the text was fake and was sent to establish an alibi in case her ex-husband checked her phone.

A few weeks later on Dec. 14, Kenney called her friend and said she had been contacted by the FBI and they might contact her friend with questions.

When the friend started to see news stories on Berreth, she checked her firearm in her car and noticed the previously empty chamber had one round in it and the magazine, which had eight rounds when she gave it over to Kenney, had only six. She told authorities she was suspicious of this.

Some time later, Kenney called the friend to apologize for lying and said she was going to cooperate with authorities.

Lastly, according to the affidavit, authorities interviewed another friend of Kenney who is a paralegal at a personal injury law firm in Twin Falls, Idaho. She told authorities that on Oct. 22, Kenney told her that Frazee had asked for her help killing Berreth.

The friend said she urged her friend to call the police and report Frazee, but didn’t think Kenney ever did.

Neither of Kenney’s friends nor her ex-husband called police.

Possible next moves for Frazee’s defense attorney

Dan Recht, a criminal defense attorney out of Denver, said he has been following the case closely. While he’s not involved, he shared some ideas on what Frazee's defense attorney could present in court.

“The prosecution is clearly depending on the testimony of Kenney, not just at this preliminary hearing, but if there’s ever a trial,” he said.

She will be the state’s “star witness,” he said. The defense will likely say that Kenney committed the homicide and is trying to pin it on Frazee, he said. After all, she never did call police to report Frazee’s actions or planning.

The defense could argue that Kenney took the plea bargain to tampering with evidence to save herself from a first-degree murder charge and convictions for other homicide-related crimes, Recht said. Had she not taken the plea deal, she could have been charged with much more serious offenses.

“I mean, she admits that she was involved in the planning of a homicide, she talks about coming close to doing a homicide and then backing out of it and having a weapon and going to Berreth’s house,” Recht said. “So, at a minimum, Kenney is very involved. And I suppose the prosecution will take the perspective: If she was going to lie, why would she create a lie that convicts her of a crime? So, they’re going to argue her testimony has the ring of truth because she implicates herself and Frazee.”

He said one or both of them thoroughly planned out the days leading up to and after Berreth’s death, which begs the question: Who did the actual killing?

If the defense decides to argue that Kenney committed the homicide, they will have to not only poke holes in her story, but show that she’s not a truthful person.

“One of the two of them committed this homicide and it’s going to be really interesting to watch both sides try to flush out how they’re going to prove the other person did it,” he said.

What happens next?

Frazee will face a murder trial in the death of Berreth at an unknown date.

A motions hearing has been scheduled for March 4 and an arraignment was set for April 8 at 8:30 a.m., which will give Frazee’s defense attorneys time to go through the more than 3,300 pages of evidence in the case.

Frazee is expected to enter a plea in the case at his arraignment.

Kenney pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence on Feb. 8.

Berreth’s body has not been found.

You can read the full affidavit here .