Patrick Frazee’s 1-year-old daughter will continue to live with her missing mother’s parents for now, a judge decided Thursday, according to Rob McCallum, spokesman with the Colorado Judicial Branch.
Frazee is accused of killing his fiancée, Kelsey Berreth, and his mother is also seeking custody of young Kaylee, court records show.
Berreth was last seen on Thanksgiving near Woodland Park, a city between Denver and Colorado Springs. The 29-year-old’s body has not been found, but authorities do not believe she is alive. Frazee was arrested and charged in connection with her death after a monthlong search.
In granting Kaylee’s maternal grandparents temporary custody during the behind-closed-doors hearing Thursday, a judge put an April 4 hearing on the docket to determine who will get permanent custody, McCallum said.
Kaylee technically remains in the legal custody of the Teller County Department of Human Services, though Berreth’s parents have had custody of the girl since December.
Frazee faces two counts of first-degree murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder in the first degree.
Prosecutors filed two murder charges because they have different theories. One is that he acted alone to kill Berreth; the other says he alone or with other people killed her during a robbery.
The solicitation charges refer to soliciting someone to commit the crime in three separate incidents and could mean Frazee allegedly solicited the same person three times or three people on different occasions.
Police suspect an Idaho woman may have helped dispose of Berreth’s phone, a source close to the investigation told CNN. The connection between Frazee, Berreth and the woman remains unclear.
On November 25, three days after Berreth was last seen, her employer reported receiving a text from the mom that allegedly said she wouldn’t be able to work that week. Frazee also said he had received a text from her that same day.
A week later, Berreth was reported missing. Police tracked her phone to a location near Gooding, Idaho — roughly 800 miles northwest of Woodland Park, where Berreth was last seen.
In a separate matter, the Idaho woman, nurse Krystal Lee Kenney, is expected to plead guilty in court Friday on one count of tampering with physical evidence, a source close to the case told CNN.
Prosecutors allege she tampered with evidence between November 24 and 25, the source said.