After Missing Mom's Fiancé Is Charged with Her Murder, Shaken Relative Wonders 'Why?'

The arrest of a missing Colorado mom’s fiancé as a suspect in her presumed murder has left her relative searching for answers.

A relative of Kelsey Berreth — who was last seen on Thanksgiving Day but is presumed dead — tells PEOPLE she was “hoping … we’d have more concrete details as to why” following a news conference Friday where authorities announced the arrest of Patrick Frazee, Berreth’s fiancé and the father of their 1-year-old daughter.

“I understand why they can’t provide them,” says JoDee Garretson, 50, a first cousin to Berreth’s mother, Cheryl, who first reported her daughter missing on Dec. 2, 10 days after she disappeared.

Still, as authorities continue to search for a body, “it’s hard to accept” that Berreth actually is dead, says Garretson.

Police who confirmed Frazee’s arrest on felony counts of suspicion of first-degree murder and solicitation to commit murder were mostly tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation, including whether Frazee allegedly hired someone to carry out the alleged killing or what might have been the motive.

“It is a crime to solicit somebody to commit another crime,” Teller County District Attorney Don May said at a news conference Friday, while adding that the charge does not require that someone actually complete the crime for which they were approached. “You have to show firmness of what you intended to do,” he said.

May declined to elaborate further.

Cheryl Berreth spoke by phone twice to her daughter on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22 — the last day anyone saw Kelsey before the 29-year-old flight instructor from Woodland Park, Colorado, vanished.

“It was a normal day for her,” Cheryl recalled in an interview with NBC News.

“Her voice was fine,” Cheryl said, noting that they discussed “small things” such as a recipe.

RELATED: Missing Colo. Mom Was Last Seen on Thanksgiving — and Family Says She’d Never Abandon Daughter

Kelsey and her 1-year-old daughter, Kaley, were seen at a local grocery store about 12:30 p.m., and authorities said her phone was active three days later after pinging off a cell tower in Idaho, nearly 600 miles from her home. But she has not been seen again.

A text from her phone to her employer, sent on Nov. 25, said that she would not be coming into work that week.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Her mother, who lives in Idaho, told NBC prior to Frazee’s arrest Friday that her daughter’s disappearance was uncharacteristic. She said that Kelsey’s relationship with Frazee “has been good. They’re loving.”

Frazee, who did not live with Kelsey, told police that he last saw his fiancée on that same Thanksgiving Day when they met up so he could take their daughter in an exchange. Yet family members noted that he was not the one who reported Kelsey missing, which invited questions as to why he hadn’t.

In announcing Frazee’s arrest, Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said the daughter had been taken from her father and placed in protective custody, soon to be reunited with Kelsey’s family.

Hearing that the girl is safe is “a relief,” says Garretson.

Frazee’s attorney, Jeremy Loew, did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call and email for comment following Frazee’s arrest.

Frazee remains for now in the Teller County jail, with formal charges likely to be filed in about 10 days, according to the district attorney.

Source: Read Full Article