The fiancé of missing Colorado mom Kelsey Berreth has been arrested in connection with her disappearance. Berreth went missing almost a month ago after last being seen shopping with her 1-year-old daughter on Thanksgiving Day. Throughout the investigation, detectives have declined to name Berreth's fiancé, Patrick Frazee, as a suspect, but now investigators say Frazee has been charged with murder.
Frazee was arrested this morning and charged with first-degree murder, as well as solicitation to commit murder.
Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said in a press conference that police have not found Berreth, but they have reason to believe she is no longer alive. He did not specify what evidence led to this conclusion or give any possible motives, but he did say that more arrests are possible.
De Young declined to comment on whether others were involved, but charges of solicitation to commit murder are defined as "actual soliciting, or seeking to engage another to commit a crime," which could imply that someone else participated in the crime.
Berreth was reported missing on December 2, about 10 days after she was last seen at a Safeway with her daughter.
It was Berreth's mom, Cheryl, who reported her missing, leading many to wonder why Frazee hadn't alerted police to her disappearance sooner. The two did not live together, but they share a 1-year-old daughter and had plans to get married. The pair had reportedly met on Thanksgiving Day to exchange custody of their little girl.
Berreth's mother repeatedly squashed speculation about her daughter's fiancé, as did police and his attorney. In an interview, she described their relationship as "loving." Frazee's attorney, Jeremy Loew, said Frazee was cooperating with investigators and had submitted to a DNA test and a search of his cell phone.
Last week, police conducted a search of Frazee's 35-acre ranch in the Crystal Peaks Ranches subdivision in Teller County, Colorado.
De Young said in a press conference at the time that he could not reveal what, if anything, was found during the search, as the warrants were sealed. But he stated that the police were "considering every possibility," though he stopped short of naming Frazee as a suspect.
Earlier this week, investigators were seen again at Frazee's ranch and conducted a second search of Berreth's home. Again, no information about their findings was released.
In today's press conference, De Young reiterated that Frazee is "innocent until proven guilty."
He also said records, warrants and affidavits will continue to be sealed, as releasing information at this time could hurt the ongoing investigation. The hope now is that Berreth will be found and that there will be justice for her. Berreth's daughter is in protective custody and will be united with the mom's family.
This post was originally published on Mom.me sister site CafeMom.