It was Thanksgiving Day two years ago when professional pilot and young mother Kelsey Berreth disappeared after a trip to a Colorado Safeway with her 1-year-old daughter. She would never been seen again — alive or dead, as investigators still have not found her body.
Though Berreth’s remains were never found, her killer is in jail. Last November, Patrick Frazee, Kelsey’s one-time fiancé and the father of her child, was convicted on all counts related to Berreth’s presumed murder, and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, plus 156 years.
It was an unusual trial: While prosecutors did not have a body or a clear motive, a star witness provided detailed, damning testimony that swayed the jury. Frazee’s one-time girlfriend Krystal Lee Kenney testified that she drove from Idaho to Woodland Park, Colorado, on Thanksgiving weekend in 2018 to clean up the bloody scene at Berreth’s townhouse, where she said Frazee had bludgeoned her to death on November 22 of that year. Kenney pleaded guilty to witness tampering and is serving a three-year sentence at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility.
READ MORE: ‘You’ve got a mess to clean up’: Patrick Frazee beats blindfolded fiancée Kelsey Berreth dead before Thanksgiving dinner with family, then makes mistress clean bloody crime scene: Investigators
Kenney’s testimony helped convict Frazee of Berreth’s murder, and also of multiple counts of solicitation: Kenney, who was a nurse until she was put on leave as a result of the investigation, claimed that Frazee had asked her on three separate occasions in the months preceding Berreth’s death to kill the 29-year-old woman herself. Berreth said that on one occasion she got as far as Berreth’s home, but ultimately could not go through with it.
Kenney also admitted that she took the dead woman’s cell phone from her home on Thanksgiving weekend, and sent messages from the phone to Berreth’s boss and to Frazee, appearing to be have come from the dead victim.
Following Frazee’s conviction, prosecutors admitted they made a “deal with the devil” in exchange for Kenney’s witness testimony, but appeared to have no doubts about her version of events, although Kenney initially lied to police when they first questioned her about Berreth’s disappearance; claiming she had no idea who Kelsey Berreth was, though she had been romantically involved with Frazee for years.
Just this week, Kenney’s bid for parole was denied, meaning she will remain in custody for at least another year, the Denver Channel reports.
At the time of Berreth’s disappearance and presumed murder, Frazee lived his mother on a ranch in Florissant, Colorado. That’s where Kenney said she helped Frazee burn evidence of the murder, including Berreth’s remains. Kenney also claimed that Frazee’s mother watched them burn the items, but it remains unclear how much Frazee’s mother knew at the time. She was never charged in connection to Berreth’s disappearance.
Frazee, 33 at the time of the killing, never spoke to the media, and did not take the stand at the murder trial. He broke his silence in April 2020 in two letters to CBS 4 Denver — maintaining his innocence, and claiming he did not have an adequate defense during legal proceedings.
“I want my daughter to know the truth,” Frazee wrote. “Most of all I want my daughter to know I did not kill her mother!”
In a second letter, the convicted killer wrote: “I stayed silent this whole time at the direction of my attorney. I am not guilty of any of the things I was charged with. I want nothing more than to find out what happened to Kelsey.”
“My silence made me look guilty in the eyes of the public.”
Berreth had moved to Colorado two years before she was killed, reportedly to be closer to Frazee, though the couple never lived together. The successful pilot and devoted mother reportedly kept to herself and appeared to have no enemies. Frazee’s defense lawyers were unable to point to another possible suspect — besides the prosecution’s star witness.
As reported by 9News, Frazee filed a notice to appeal his conviction in January of this year, but did not provide a reason for the appeal. As of November, it does not appear that Frazee’s attorneys have filed any further documents to move the appeal forward.
Berreth and Frazee’s daughter Kaylee is in the custody of Kelsey’s parents.
As the Denver Gazettte reports, a group gathered in Woodland Park on Sunday for a memorial honoring Kelsey Berreth.
“She needs to never be forgotten,” said Kelli Shofstall, an event organizer.
Raymond Siebring, who was Berreth’s supervisor at Doss Aviation, which is now L3Harris, spoke of how Berreth’s petite frame belied her strength of character, and her command as a flight instructor.
“Her stature did not reflect her heart or her character,” he said.
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