Search warrants made public last week offer a view into how investigators built their case against a Teller County rancher linked to the disappearance and presumed murder of Kelsey Berreth in Woodland Park.
The documents from nearly two dozen searches were posted online March 6, two days after a judge ordered them released at a pretrial motions hearing in Cripple Creek for Patrick Frazee.
Frazee, 32, is accused of bludgeoning Berreth and later burning her body on his Florrisant ranch.
Fourth Judicial District Judge Scott Sells previously ruled the search warrants were public records and should be unsealed once personal information had been redacted. Prosecutors did not take a position. Attorneys for Frazee objected, saying the release of further information could impair the search for unbiased jurors in the mountain community.
Sells downplayed the potential for harming the investigation or tainting Frazee’s yet to be scheduled trial, saying the contents of the search papers were largely described at a Feb. 19 pretrial hearing that laid out the case against Frazee.
The judge said the papers include search warrants served on Verizon, Google and Facebook as investigators gathered electronic data they say links Frazee to the crime, putting him at the scene of her Thanksgiving Day killing and at his ranch where a witness reported that Berreth’s body was burned with oil and gasoline.
The movements of cellphones in the case emerged as a key part of the evidence against Frazee, alongside testimony by Krystal Lee (Krystal Lee Kenney), an Idaho nurse who said Frazee confessed to her and directed her to help with a coverup, including cleaning Berreth’s apartment and driving to Idaho with Berreth’s phone to create the appearance the woman was still alive.
Frazee is due back in court April 5, where he is expected to enter a plea. A trial date is likely to be scheduled then.