By Rick Sallinger

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – The trial is over. The defendant, Patrick Frazee, was sentenced to life in prison plus 156 years, but there is an important matter still unresolved in the murder of Kelsey Berreth; the custody of their little girl.

Patrick Frazee and Kelsey Berreth (credit: Facebook/Missing Mother – Kelsey Berreth)

READ MORE: Tri-County Health Investigating After Deer Trail School District Parents Claim Mask Mandate Is Being Ignored

Kaylee is just two-years-old. Her mother is gone, the victim of murder by her father. Kaylee, in effect, lost both her parents in a horrible crime. The incident happened in Woodland Park on Thanksgiving day 2018.

Kelsey Berreth seen of surveillance video from Safeway the day she disappeared. (credit: CBS)

Custody hearings for Kaylee were halted for the criminal trial because Frazee could have retained custody of his daughter if he was acquitted. Before the criminal trial, a judge placed Kaylee in temporary custody of Kelsey Berreth’s parents in Idaho. Patrick Frazee’s mother
has also sought custody of the little girl.

Kelsey Berreth, left, and Patrick Frazee, right (credit: Woodland Park Police/Teller County)

In the sentencing hearing for the convicted killer, the court listened to a statement written by Cheryl Berreth, Kelsey’s mother. It said during Kelsey’s disappearance her family wondered if Frazee would kill Kaylee.

Sheryl Berreth (credit: CBS)

READ MORE: 'Shady... Cronyism' At Denver Parks And Rec Says City Council Member

Cheryl Berreth asked how would Patrick Frazee like to find out that his daughter’s life had ended the way as her daughter. Testimony indicated that Kelsey was hit by a baseball bat up to 10-15 times in the head.

RELATED: DNA Analyst, Kelsey Berreth’s Co-Workers Testify In Frazee Murder Trial

Kaylee was in another room in the home at the time. Kelsey’s body has never been found, but testimony indicated it was burned.

Kelsey Berreth's home in Woodland Park

Kelsey Berreth’s home in Woodland Park (credit: CBS)

Krystal Lee, the key prosecution witness, testified that Frazee told her that Kelsey had been an abusive mother to Kaylee and that’s why he wanted her killed. Cheryl Berreth wrote that such false statements damaged Kelsey’s reputation even after her death.

(credit: CBS)

MORE NEWS: Colfax Marathon Returns To The Streets After Pandemic

During the trial when Kaylee’s picture was projected on a screen for the jurors, members of the Berreth family seated in the front two rooms would sob. The little girl was only 14-months-old at the time of the crime, probably too young to understand what had happened, but one day she will.

Rick Sallinger