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Who was Kelsey Berreth? Portrait of mom, pilot and daughter emerges at trial

Friends and family describe Kelsey Berreth during the trial for the man accused of the Woodland Park mom and flight instructor's murder.

CRIPPLE CREEK, Colo. — While the trial deals with the man accused in her murder, the people who knew and loved Kelsey Berreth have gotten to share tidbits that offer a glimpse of the woman whose name and photo have been in the headlines since her disappearance. 

Her mom, Cheryl Berreth, took the witness stand to describe her daughter’s childhood on a farm in Washington, with dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. Her brother, Clinton Berreth, said because of this upbringing, the two developed a close relationship. 

“We were pretty isolated there; it was either be together or sit by yourself,” he said. 

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Credit: Courtesy family
Kelsey Berreth and her young daughter.

Cheryl Berreth said Kelsey Berreth went to pilot school in Washington and came to Colorado after meeting her fiancé online. She worked as a flight instructor at Falcon Air Force Base and in Grand Junction — as well as briefly at a coffee shop in Florissant — before taking a position at Doss Aviation in Pueblo. 

“She was incredibly diligent in taking her time in making sure that what is a thorough process was completed correct,” said Raymond Siebring, Kelsey Berreth’s boss at Doss Aviation. “I’m referring to grade sheet requirements, flight requirements, and it seemed like it was something as stressful as it was — and it’s meant to be stressful — that it was handled well.” 

Kelsey Berreth commuted from her condo in Woodland Park to her job in Pueblo multiple days a week, but despite this time commitment, Siebring said she received nothing but accolades from the people who flew with her. He said he remembered her for her cheery text messages that included exclamation points and smiley face emojis. 

“When a student graduates, part of their out-process is creating an end-of-course critique,” Siebring said. “She received plenty of accolades and positive reinforcements from students who just loved to fly with her.” 

Siebring said Berreth’s desk had photos of her and her 1-year-old daughter, as well as verses from the Bible. 

“[Her daughter] is  … Kelsey’s life,” Cheryl Berreth said. “Her world revolved around [her daughter]. She was a great mom.” 

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Credit: Courtesy Woodland Park Police Department
Kelsey Berreth, a 29-year-old mother who lived in Woodland Park, hasn't been seen alive since Thanksgiving 2018. Her fiance Patrick Frazee is on trial for his murder.

Photos shared at trial show Kelsey Berreth and her smiling baby inside a sunny apartment that was adorned with toys. Cheryl Berreth said one of her last conversations she had with Kelsey Berreth was about what she was going to get her 1-year-old for Christmas and plans that involved picking out a tree before the holiday. The morning before she was last seen in surveillance video at the Safeway in Woodland Park, Kelsey Berreth asked her mom for a bread dip recipe. During that trip, she also bought a poinsettia. 

Some of the lighter testimony also dealt with Kelsey Berreth’s love of Starbucks. Clinton Berreth said before her disappearance on Nov. 22, 2018, the two had discussed finally getting to try a holiday drink. 

“Kelsey liked coffee,” Cheryl Berreth said. “She liked caramel macchiatos, that was the diet drink, and when it was in season, pumpkin spice lattes.” 

Outside of coffee, Cheryl Berreth said her daughter needed three pretty basic things to be happy. 

“She needed a good night sleep, she needed to spend her time with God and she needed to go running,” Cheryl Berreth said. 

The Kelsey Berreth murder trial began on Friday and is scheduled to last for three weeks in the Teller County Courthouse in Cripple Creek. Since this story deals with the victim, 9NEWS is not naming the suspect who is on trial. 

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