CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — Before the disappearance of Woodland Park mom and flight instructor Kelsey Berreth dominated headlines across Colorado, her fiancee went to a bank not far from her condo with what the manager called an “odd request.”
It was Dec. 5, 2018 — three days after Cheryl Berreth called police and said she hadn’t heard from her daughter in days.
“That afternoon, I was on the teller line — we were a little short-staffed — and two gentlemen approached me and asked if one of my employees was there that day,” Patricia Key, the manager of the ENT Credit Union in Woodland Park, said.
One of those men was Patrick Frazee, who is now charged with first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree murder, and tampering with a deceased human body for Kelsey Berreth’s death. Frazee’s trial began on Friday, and Key was called to the witness stand on Monday afternoon to discuss her ensuing interaction with Frazee inside of her office.
“Once we were in my office, Mr. Frazee asked if he could see the surveillance or video surveillance from our ATM from Nov. 22,” Key said.
This date — Thanksgiving 2018 — is significant, since it is the day the Woodland Park Police Department has said Kelsey Berreth was last seen alive on a surveillance camera at the Woodland Park Safeway. According to phone records shared by the prosecution, Frazee last texted Kelsey Berreth’s phone on Nov. 25, but never got a response.
During her conversation with him, Key said she could access the surveillance video from his trip to the bank on Thanksgiving.
“Mr. Frazee asked me if I could get those things for him and I said I could, he said he was needing to have a timeline for that time because he and his fiance had broken up the day before, he was getting together with her to see about custody for their child, and he needed to set a timeline for where he was the day before,” Key said on the witness stand, adding that Frazee told her his fiancee had gone missing.
“I said ‘if you don’t know when she went missing, how will this timeline help you?’” Key said. “He said ‘well, exactly.'”
That same day, Key said she had spoken to police, who had asked her to look up Kelsey Berreth’s debit card history. The last transaction was on Nov. 22, 2018. That’s the only day she said Frazee asked for surveillance footage showing his whereabouts.
Key said Frazee asked for his bank history that day as well, and looked at surveillance video and photos that showed him at the ATM with his one-year-old daughter in the front seat.
Key said when Frazee and his friend left the bank, she contacted her company’s legal team, which told her to write a synopsis of the reaction and call police.
A few other parts of the conversation stuck out to her.
“What he said was ‘all I know was that after she was seen at Safeway, she’s talked to her mother on Sunday, and no one’s seen her since,’” Key said. “So I stopped the conversation and said ‘if she talked to her mother after Thanksgiving, then she wasn’t missing on Thanksgiving.' It was very peculiar to me.
“He was very abrupt and said ‘she didn’t talk to her mother on the Sunday after Thanksgiving’ and I was thinking ‘you just said that,'” Key said. “It was just a very strange interaction there.”
Key said there was one thing that seemed especially amiss.
“The only thing that was really problematic for me in the interaction was there was never any mention of Kelsey or any mention of her whereabouts,” Key said.
Key’s testimony came the same afternoon numerous members of law enforcement discussed the moments after Kelsey Berreth disappeared. Detectives said when they first arrived at her condo in Woodland Park, nothing seemed out-of-place and there was no evidence that anyone had broken inside. Her makeup and toothbrush were still in the bathroom, and there were stale, mostly uneaten cinnamon rolls sitting on the stove. There was a candle on a warmer nearby, and the heat was up higher than usual.
Kelsey Berreth’s mother and brother had stayed in the apartment when they came to Colorado to check on her. That’s when her brother, Clinton Berreth, said he saw blood underneath the toilet.
Frazee wouldn’t be arrested until Dec. 21 — just one day after his mistress, Idaho nurse Krystal Lee Kenney began to cooperate with investigators. Kenney alleges that Frazee asked her to kill Kelsey Berreth three times, but she didn’t go through with it. On Nov. 22, 2018, Kenney told police Frazee sent her a text, telling her she had a mess to clean up and she would need to drive from Idaho to Woodland Park to do it.
Kenney alleges Frazee told her he beat Kelsey Berreth to death with a baseball bat and burned her body on his property in Florissant. Kenney told investigators that she helped clean up the crime scene and destroyed Kelsey Berreth’s cellphone. She has pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and in exchange is expected to testify at Frazee’s trial.
Cellphone data placing Frazee and Kenney at what prosecutors said was the scene of the crime has been key evidence for the District Attorney's Office — which makes the testimony of a Verizon Store employee about an interaction with Frazee before his arrest possibly significant.
David Felis said Frazee came to the Woodland Park Verizon Store on Dec. 11, 2018 with his one-year-old daughter.
“When he came in, he seemed very nervous, and kind of sketchy, paranoid and was looking around a lot,” Felis said. “One of the first things he told me, one of the first things he said to me was ‘don’t believe what they’re saying about me.’ I said ‘I don’t know who you are, I treat all my customers the same.’”
Felis said Frazee seemed “particularly concerned” about the security of his cellphone account, and asked if it was possible to gather information from a phone that was destroyed. Felis said Frazee kept asking about the “other phone on his account” and tried to change the PIN on that device so he could access its data.
“That rang every alarm in my head,” Felis said. “After he asked that question I excused myself to the restroom and looked up the last news report with his name.”
Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance and Frazee’s arrest has generated media attention from across the country. This publicity prompted 1,750 Teller County residents to receive a jury summons for the case. It took four days to narrow that down to the 12 jurors and four alternates who watched the testimony on Monday afternoon.
This jury will decide Frazee’s fate at the conclusion of what’s expected to be a three-week trial. In addition to law enforcement and witnesses from numerous local businesses, they’ve also heard from Kelsey Berreth’s mother, brother and boss.
The final witness of the day was Fourth Judicial District Attorney’s Office Investigator Chad Mininger. He testified about extracting surveillance photos from Kelsey Berreth’s neighbor’s phone. These photos were stills taken from the neighbor’s motion triggered surveillance cameras. One of them was pointed at Kelsey Berreth’s front door.
On Nov. 21, 2018, the camera was only triggered four times. On Nov. 23, it was triggered three times. But on Nov. 22 - the last day Kelsey Berreth was seen alive — it was triggered 27 times, according to Mininger. Frazee is seen in 11 of the surveillance photos — including as late as 4:30 p.m.
He had previously said he didn’t go into Berreth’s house that day and just exchanged the child. In the surveillance photos, Frazee isn’t seen carrying anything out of the home except for the baby, and there aren’t noticeable stains on his clothes. His back was often to the camera.
According to Mininger, the last image ever recorded of Kelsey Berreth was when she went into her apartment at 1:23 p.m. She wouldn’t be seen leaving.
Mininger’s testimony is scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday at the Teller County Courthouse in Cripple Creek.
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