DENVER – After months of silence mostly from authorities who investigated the disappearance of a Colorado mother on Thanksgiving Day, grim details about her alleged death appeared this week, including accusations that the fiance of the woman had beaten him to death with a baseball bat while his baby was in the next room. .
Testimony of the investigators at a court hearing also revealed that Patrick Frazee had repeatedly asked a woman from Idaho with whom he had an affair to kill Kelsey Berreth, the mother of the daughter of 1 year of Frazee.
When she refused, he did it himself, the authorities said.
Berreth's body has not been found yet, but the Colorado investigative officer, Gregg Slater, said that information he had gathered from the girlfriend from Frazee, Krystal Jean Lee Kenney, reported that she had seen his wife burning the remains of his wife. Kenney now cooperates with the investigators after pleading guilty to falsifying evidence.
Berreth, a 29-year-old flight instructor, was last seen on November 22 near her home in a mountain town near Colorado Springs, south of Denver.
The investigators said that Frazee had begun planning for Berreth's death in September and had enlisted Kenney. The court records released on Wednesday show that Kenney's ex-husband revealed to investigators that his ex-wife and Frazee had a sexual relationship in 2016 and probably in 2017. An inspector said Kenney had revealed he had re-launched a case in March 2018.
Kenney, a 32-year-old nurse, told the police that Frazee said Berreth mistreated the couple's daughter. Police said that there was no evidence that the girl had been abused by her mother or anyone else.
Frazee has asked Kenney to kill Berreth three times, Slater said on Tuesday. He added that Kenney had reported that Frazee had suggested poisoning Berreth's coffee in September. Kenney told police that Frazee later told him to hit Berreth in the head with a metal pipe and a baseball bat.
Kenney said that he was angry whenever she did not act. She loved Frazee and wanted to make him happy but could not hurt Berreth, Slater said.
Kenney told at least two friends in October that Frazee had asked him to kill Berreth, according to recent court records. The two women were then interviewed by police who were investigating the disappearance of Berreth, but the records give no indication that they contacted law enforcement after Kenney's admission.
A woman, who works as a paralegal, told investigators that she had urged Kenney to contact the police, but "did not believe Krystal had ever been there," according to the archives.
Kenney received a call from Frazee on Nov. 22 asking him to travel to Colorado, Slater said.
"You have a mess to clean up," Frazee said, according to Kenney's account to the police.
She arrived two days later and discovered a "horrible" scene with blood splattered on the walls and floors of Berreth's townhouse, Slater said.
Kenney told the police that Frazee had passed a sweater around Berreth's head so that she could guess the smell of scented candles, then beat her with a bat and put her body into a ranch. According to court records, the couple's daughter was present at home but in another room at the time.
After cleaning the house, Kenney announced that she had gone to fetch Berreth's body with Frazee and that she had been seen by Frazee burning it on his property with the wooden bat, Slater said.
She said that Frazee later told him that he was planning to throw the remains in a dump or river.
Frazee was arrested last December, about a month after Berreth was seen alive for the last time. Prosecutors have announced additional charges this week, including for falsifying a dead body. He did not plead in favor of any of the allegations.
His lawyers focused most of their questions Tuesday on Kenney's account.
The police acknowledged that Kenney had not seen Berreth's body or a baseball bat. They also claimed that Kenney denied knowing Berreth or having a personal relationship with Frazee when investigators contacted her for the first time in mid-December.
David Beller, a Denver criminal defense lawyer, said examining the motives and credibility of a witness who cooperates with prosecutors is a key strategy for defense lawyers.
"The defense lawyer will consider whether the witness minimizes in one way or another his involvement or motives to make him look more guilty than him," said Beller, who said Has no connection with Frazee's defense. "The jurors are skeptical about the testimony of a witness and a defense strategy is always to emphasize that skepticism."
Frazee's lawyers also pointed out the lack of blood or other material evidence found in her truck and asked the Berreth family to have access to Kelsey's housing estate after the first police searches. The blood in the bathroom, identified as Berreth's, was discovered on December 6, a few days after the police handed over the property to his family.
According to court records, police found blood on a bottle of bleach and a mop during a search carried out in mid-December on the property of Frazee. The tests are not finished yet.
The hearing did not reveal why prosecutors believe that Frazee killed Berreth. His parents argue in a lawsuit for wrongful death that they believe that Frazee wanted full custody of the couple's daughter. The child stayed with them during the course of the criminal case.