A childhood friend of Patrick Frazee testified last week that the rancher had discussed killing his fiancée Kelsey Berreth months before the 29-year-old disappeared.
Joseph Moore, who's known Frazee since Frazee was in middle school and considered him a close friend, testified Friday that in April 2018, while he and Frazee were moving bulls to another ranch, he'd asked how Frazee’s relationship with Berreth was going.
“He said, ‘I figured out a way to kill her,’” Moore testified, according to local station KMGH-TV, “And I went, ‘Don’t even talk about things like that. Get that s--- out of your head.’ He just kind of grinned and said, ‘No body, no crime, right?'”
Moore testified that he told Frazee again to “get that s--- out of your head.”
Berreth would disappear just months later on Thanksgiving Day 2018, being last seen on surveillance footage at a Colorado grocery store with the couple’s 1-year-old daughter, Kaylee. Last week, Frazee’s mistress Krystal Lee Kenney testified that Frazee killed Berreth later that day with a baseball bat and then called Kenney to come clean up the bloody crime scene—a request she went along with.
But on Friday, Moore testified that there had been disturbing signs that the relationship between Frazee and Berreth wasn’t going well months before the flight instructor disappeared.
Moore told jurors that he and Frazee had known each other since Frazee was in middle school because his children had been in 4-H with Frazee, according to local station KXRM-TV. He would eventually go on to help Frazee get into the cattle business and the pair often worked together.
“He could call me day or night, and if he needed help, he would call me and if I needed help, he would help. … I called him a red-headed step child,” Moore said.
As Moore took the stand to provide testimony against his friend, he began to cry and said it had been difficult internally.
“You don’t want to picture someone who you have known so long and trusted and think that they have done something like this,” Moore said.
Moore himself said he only met Berreth twice. The first time was at the ranch around November 2016 when she had been trying to help Frazee move his calves, but didn't know how to handle the cows, KMGH-TV reports.
“He berated her horribly,” Moore said. “He yelled at her, cussed at her, just terribly.”
He thought the couple had broken up, but was surprised to later get a call from Frazee, who said he was taking Berreth to the hospital. She gave birth to the couple’s daughter a short time later, KUSA reports.
“It was odd. I was just shocked that all of the sudden he’s a daddy out of nowhere. There was that whole time when she took off and went to Grand Junction, [I figured] that was the end of them,” he said.
As time went on, there were other signs the relationship wasn’t going well. In addition to the conversation in April 2018, Moore testified that Frazee also told him that summer that he was having people spy on Berreth because he wanted to try to sue her for full custody of their child, KXRM-TV reports.
He claimed to have a photo that showed Berreth leaving the infant in her car while she ran inside a liquor store; however, when Moore asked to see the photo, Frazee said he had it at home. Moore also questioned how he was getting people to spy on the young mom.
“He talked about that several different times, and I asked him ’How are you getting these people to go and take pictures and spy on her?’” Moore said, according to KUSA. “He said, instead of charging them to … put shoes on horses … he said ‘If you do that for me, I’ll do it for you.’”
After Berreth disappeared, Moore testified that Frazee had been shocked the case was getting the level of national attention it received, on one occasion asking Moore, “Why are they even investigating this? If there’s no body, there’s no crime. What are they even after me for? What do they think they’re going to find?”
Frazee also allegedly told him, “If I had known investigators and the media would be making such a big deal about this… I would have never,” before he stopped talking.
Moore said Frazee never seemed to wonder out loud whether Berreth was okay. However, on one occasion Moore said Frazee did speculate on a very specific theory.
“He said ‘You know, if Kelsey wanted to commit suicide, she could go out to Pike National Forest and commit suicide and no one would ever find her,’” Moore said, according to KUSA. “I said ‘Patrick, if her phone is pinging up in Idaho, how can she possibly be in Pike National Forest?'”
Moore also testified that Frazee told him that he had Berreth’s blood on his pants, shirt and boots after he claimed she had a nosebleed and put her head in his lap.
“Do you think they’ll be able to find any of that even though it’s all been washed,” Frazee allegedly asked Moore.
Moore told Frazee that he thought investigators could find blood even when it couldn't be seen by people.
Friday’s testimony also included two K-9 handlers who spoke about how specially trained K-9 dogs had signaled the presence of human blood or decomposition on a ranch where Frazee had been leasing property and in Berreth’s townhome.
Denver FBI Special Agent Donald Peterson also testified about what authorities believe was a partial tooth found in a burn area on Frazee’s property.
Testimony in the case is expected to resume Tuesday.
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