Investigation yields few clues on missing Colorado woman
DENVER (AP) — Kelsey Berreth was last seen on Thanksgiving Day, captured on surveillance video entering a grocery store with what appears to be her 1-year-old daughter in a baby carrier. Weeks later, investigators don’t know what happened to the 29-year-old Colorado mother.
Her fiance has told police the couple, who did not live together, met sometime on the holiday to exchange their child. After that, police said the only signs of Berreth were text messages from her cellphone. Her disappearance has mystified her family and police leading a multi-state search.
“Kelsey, we just want you home,” her mother, Cheryl Berreth pleaded at a press conference Monday. “Call us if you can. We won’t quit looking.”
The woman’s fiance, Patrick Frazee, told police she last texted him on Nov. 25, the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Her employer, an aviation company, got a text message from Berreth’s phone the same day, saying the flight instructor planned to take the following week off.
Police later received data indicating Berreth’s phone was near Gooding, Idaho, that same day, nearly 800 miles (1,300 kilometers) from her home in Woodland Park, Colorado.
A police investigation was opened Dec. 2 after Cheryl Berreth asked for a welfare check of her daughter. The Woodland Park Police Department has classified the disappearance as a missing person case.
Investigators who went to the woman’s home found some cinnamon rolls in Berreth’s kitchen and both of her cars still in place outside the home. Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said the company where Berreth worked, Doss Aviation, has accounted for all their planes and police have no reason to believe she used someone else’s plane for a flight.
In the surveillance video released this week, Berreth is seen entering a Woodland Park grocery store at 12:05 p.m. Her hair is pinned back in a bun, and she is carrying a purse and a baby carrier mostly covered by a blanket. She then pushes a shopping cart into the store, perching the carrier on top.
According to police, Frazee told authorities he picked up the couple’s daughter, Kaylee, from Kelsey that afternoon. Susan Medina, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said Thursday that police would not speculate on why the couple was exchanging their daughter on the holiday.
Frazee’s attorney, Jeremy Loew, said in a written statement Wednesday that his client has been interviewed by police and provided investigators with a cheek swab for DNA along with his cell phone. Loew said neither he nor his client will comment further “as he does not want to impede law enforcement’s investigation.”
Frazee missed Monday’s press conference where Cheryl Berreth made her plea for information about her daughter, but Loew said his client only learned of the event an hour before it began and would have attended with more notice.
“Mr. Frazee hopes and prays for Ms. Berreth’s return,” Loew said. “Mr. Frazee will continue to cooperate with law enforcement and continue to parent the child he shares with Ms. Berreth.”
Berreth’s family has continued to urge people to share a featuring two smiling photos of the slight woman.
“Kelsey loves her God,” Cheryl Berreth said at the press conference. “She loves her family and friends and she loves her job. She’s reliable, considerate and honest.”
According to public records, Kelsey Berreth previously lived in Washington state. In 2016, she moved to Woodland Park, a mountain community of about 7,500 people two hours south of Denver.
“She doesn’t run off and someone knows where she is at,” her mother said.
Associated Press writers James Anderson and Colleen Slevin contributed to this report.