As the trial of missing woman Kelsey Berreth’s fiance gets underway, the trial of another woman has finally shed light on the mysterious events that followed Berreth’s disappearance.
Berreth, a 29-year-old flight instructor and mother to one-year-old girl, went missing on Thanksgiving 2018.
While her body has not been found, Colorado police are convinced Berreth is dead, and charged her fiance Patrick Frazee, 32, in her murder last December.
Police say Frazee – or an accomplice he hired – killed his fiance in her home before hiding her body in a location they have yet to discover.
Now, a separate case involving a friend of Frazee’s seems to finally explain one of the most unusual pieces of evidence in Berreth’s case.
Several days after her disappearance, police said that Berreth’s phone “pinged” – or appeared to be nearby – a cellular tower near Gooding, Idaho, over 700 miles from her home in Colorado.
On Friday, Idaho nurse Krystal Lee Kenney, 32, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence in a murder case, including disposing of a phone.
A close friend of Kenney described the nurse to CBS News as a “tough cowgirl” who was “very, very scared” of Frazee, a longtime friend of Kenney and her one-time boyfriend.
In a statement she read to the court, Kenney claimed that she learned Frazee had committed a homicide after the fact, and “moved the victim’s cell phone with the intent to impair the phone’s availability to the investigation.”
“She did tell me that she has never seen this kind of evil in anybody,” Kenney’s friend Michelle Stein told CBS This Morning.
Kenney faces up to three years in prison for evidence tampering, but has agreed to testify against Frazee at his trial and will not be sentenced until after he is.
Frazee is charged with first degree murder in Berreth’s death, but also with attempting to solicit someone else to kill Berreth multiple times in 2018.
It seems police have two competing theories about Berreth’s death: that she was killed by Frazee, or that Frazee hired an accomplice to murder her. Because the police files are sealed, it’s unclear which theory will be presented at Frazee’s trial.
A preliminary hearing in Frazee’s case is scheduled for next Tuesday, February 19.
Berreth’s parents, Cheryl and Darrell, have also filed a wrongful death suit against Frazee. Cheryl also retains custody of Berreth and Frazee’s one-year-old daughter Kaylee, until a hearing with the local Department of Human Services in April..
[H/T: NBC News]