Patrick Frazee was arrested Friday on suspicion of murdering his fiancee, 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth, who was last seen on Thanksgiving Day.
Authorities have not located Berreth’s body, but they recovered “a number of items that are suspicious that could indicate that the murder occurred at her residence,” Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said during a news conference.
“Sadly, we do not believe that Kelsey is alive,” he said.
Law enforcement from a multiagency task force, which includes Woodland Park police, the FBI, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, arrested Frazee, 32, just after 7 a.m. Friday at his mother’s ranch near Florissant.
Frazee was booked into Teller County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder and solicitation to commit murder in the first degree, said 4th Judicial District Attorney Dan May.
The solicitation charge refers to enlisting another person “to commit another crime,” whether it’s burglary, robbery or murder, May said.
“(It’s a crime) if you’re soliciting someone to help out, and it isn’t just a discussion,” May said.
De Young said more arrests are “an absolute possibility.”
May said details about the solicitation charge will be released when Frazee is charged, which he expects will be in about 10 days.
The arrest affidavit is sealed and neither May nor De Young would say what the investigation uncovered that links Frazee to his fiancee’s disappearance.
The couple’s daughter, 1-year-old Kaylee, who had remained with Frazee during the nearly monthlong search for Berreth, has been placed in protective custody and “will be reunited with
Kelsey’s family,” De Young said.
“I cannot stress enough, this is a difficult time for Kelsey’s family,” De Young said, adding that the family is not giving interviews.
Berreth’s mother, Cheryl Berreth, who lives in Idaho, reported her daughter missing Dec. 2.
Berreth was last seen alive on surveillance video Thanksgiving Day while shopping at the Woodland Park Safeway with her daughter.
Frazee told police Berreth, who worked as a flight instructor for a Pueblo aviation company, dropped the baby off with him at his house on Thanksgiving Day. Although engaged, the two did not live together.
Lon Rust, owner of Paradise Spirits, a liquor store next door to Safeway, said Berreth was a customer, coming in after work in her flight suit.
“We talked about her being a pilot,” he said. “She was just a real sweet girl, really friendly.”
When he saw news reports that she had disappeared, Rust said he was “shocked.”
When Rust heard about Berreth’s fiance being arrested, he said he thought, “What else could it be? She seemed like a fairly stable person.”
On Dec. 14, dozens of law enforcement officers descended on the 35-acre ranch where Frazee lives with his mother after obtaining a search warrant. They searched the property for two days with backhoes.
This week, FBI agents and other officers searched Berreth’s townhome.
Authorities have not revealed what they found at either location.
Frazee’s lawyer, Jeremy Loew, had issued statements saying his client was cooperating with investigators — voluntarily providing them with his cellphone and DNA samples.