DENVER – Authorities are planning to begin the unnerving task of digging through a landfill in the city of Fountain for Kelsey Berreth’s remains next Tuesday, ABC News reports.
The search of the Midway Landfill, which will include other possible evidence in the missing mother’s case, could last several months, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation.
The landfill has been the focus of investigators since at least the middle of January, when officials from Waste Management told ABC News that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation had contacted them "regarding a potential search at Midway Landfill and we are cooperating fully.”
Berreth, who was last seen on Thanksgiving Day last year, was spotted on Safeway surveillance video with her 1-year-old daughter, Kaylee. It was the last confirmed sighting of the Woodland Park mother.
Investigators on Tuesday testified in a Teller County courtroom that they believe Patrick Frazee, Berreth’s fiancé and the father of their 1-year-old daughter, burned the body with gasoline at his property in Florissant, based on testimony from Krystal Jean Lee Kenney, a 32-year-old Idaho woman who pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence earlier this month and agreed to cooperate with authorities in the investigation.
While the former nurse wasn’t present for the alleged murder, she said Frazee described it in detail. According to Kenney, Frazee blindfolded Berreth to have her guess the scents of different candles. While she was distracted, he hit her with a baseball bat in the face, killing her.
In a white suit that covered her whole body, plus a hair net, booties and gloves, Kenney spent hours cleaning the residence to help Frazee cover the crime, according to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday.
The affidavit states Frazee moved Berreth’s body from her home in a black plastic tote before placing the bag on top of a haystack on Nash Ranch in Park County.
Two days later, according to the affidavit, Frazee and Kenney moved the tote from the ranch and drove it in his pickup back to his home in Florissant. The tote was then placed inside a 100-gallon through along with the bat used to kill Berreth and some of her other items, with the exception of her cell phone. Using motor oil and at least five gallons of gasoline, Frazee then set the tote on fire.
Kenney told authorities that Frazee planned to drop Berreth’s remains at the dump or toss them somewhere else.
Frazee, 32, who will face a murder trial at an unknown date, has been charged with two counts of murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder, as well as tampering with a deceased body and two crime of violence sentence enhancers.
A motions hearing has been scheduled for March 4 and an arraignment was set for April 8 at 8:30 a.m., which will give Frazee’s defense attorneys time to go through the more than 3,300 pages of evidence in the case. Frazee is expected to enter a plea in the case at his arraignment.
The couple’s year-old daughter remains in temporary custody of Berreth’s parents pending another hearing set for April 4.