Watch CBS News

Kelsey Berreth's friend believes her fiancé was "borderline emotionally abusive"

Close friend of missing Colo. mom speaks out
Missing Colorado mom's friend says Kelsey Berreth "couldn't win" with Patrick Frazee 03:44

A close friend of the Colorado mom who disappeared two months ago today is speaking out for the first time about Kelsey Berreth's relationship with her fiancé Patrick Frazee. Berreth is presumed dead and Frazee has been charged with her murder.

Ashley Cogburn told CBS News' Nikki Battiste her friend had a lot going for her: a dream job, a baby and a fiancé. But she said Berreth also often appeared to be upset, and she believes, it had to do with Frazee.

"The moment that I found out that she had been missing, the first words that came out of my mouth were, 'He did something to her,'" Cogburn said. 

Cogburn said she saw red flags in their relationship, including that he was always "mad about something."

"She couldn't win … the things that he would say to her were somewhat demeaning … I remember one time in particular she came to me and she was just crying. And Kelsey is this – she's a tough girl … and I can't remember specifics, but I just remember gathering, 'This person is borderline emotionally abusive to you right now,'"
Cogburn and Berreth met in elementary school and grew up like sisters in Washington state. They recently lived together in Colorado while Berreth, who was pregnant at the time with Frazee's child, was working nearby as a pilot.

"Kelsey was a kind, sweet girl. She kind of had it all going on. She was, you know, she was really smart. She was on top of her game in life," Cogburn said. "She was doing it all." 

Kelsey Berreth's close friend remembers her "spunky" and "sweet" personality 01:42

Berreth hasn't been seen since she was captured on surveillance video Thanksgiving Day at a Colorado grocery store with her and Frazee's now one-year-old daughter, Kaylee. Frazee was arrested less than a month later and charged with Berreth's murder. Investigators do not believe he acted alone.

When Frazee was arrested, at first, Cogburn wanted to believe that she was still alive.

"I wanted to hold onto hope that that wasn't the case. You know, so you – I grasped onto, 'Well, maybe somebody took her. Maybe.' I think deep down I knew."

Cogburn said she had at times encouraged Berreth to end her relationship with Frazee, but Berreth believed she could still make it work. Cogburn now believes Berreth would just want to know her daughter Kaylee is safe.

"I know that your mom loved you so much … She was so happy that you were here. And I know that if she were still around … she would be an awesome example of a person that you could grow up to be like."

"Kelsey was a kind, sweet girl who was spunky and playful, you know, shy at first but was really easy to get along with," Cogburn said. "I'm just thankful for the friendship that she gave me and for being the person that she was. I mean, I'm inspired by her and I'll just – I'll just take that. And I know that she – that's what she would want. She would want us to focus on the good."  

Berreth's parents have been granted temporary custody of their granddaughter. Frazee has not entered a plea and his public defender tells us he can't comment on the case. A preliminary hearing for Frazee is scheduled for February.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.