Woman pleads guilty to moving missing mom Kelsey Berreth's phone

Krystal Lee, 32, grew visibly emotional in the Colorado courtroom Friday.

February 8, 2019, 12:56 PM

A former Idaho nurse was visibly emotional and wiping away tears as she pleaded guilty Friday in connection with the case of missing Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth.

Krystal Lee, 32, who pleaded guilty to one count of tampering with physical evidence, read a statement in court.

"I learned Patrick Frazee had committed a homicide on approximately Nov. 22, 2018, in Teller County," Lee said. "I knew that law enforcement would be investigating that crime. I moved the victim’s cellphone with an intent to impair the phone’s availability in the investigation. I had no right or authority to move the victim’s cellphone that occurred between Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, 2018, in Teller County.”

Kelsey Berreth is pictured in an undated handout photo.
Woodland Park Police Department

Patrick Frazee, Berreth's fiance and the father of her baby, was arrested in December and charged with Berreth's murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder.

He has not entered a plea.

Patrick Frazee, the fiance of missing Colorado mother Kelsey Berreth, is pictured in a booking photo released on Dec. 21, 2018.
Teller County Sheriff via KMGH

Berreth was last seen Thanksgiving Day, shopping with the couple's 1-year-old daughter, Kaylee, at a Woodland Park, Colorado, supermarket.

Three days after Berreth vanished, investigators said her cellphone signal was detected in Idaho. While Lee's exact relationship to Frazee and her alleged role in the case aren't known, multiple law enforcement sources have told ABC News she's suspected driving Berreth's phone to Idaho in an attempt to dispose of it.

According to two family members, Lee said she only helped Frazee because he threatened her life.

Lee's maximum sentence is three years. Lee will not be sentenced until after the Frazee trial concludes.

"She is required to cooperate in all cases," District Attorney Dan May told reporters Friday. "She is required to testify if called upon to testify in all cases."

Police said they believe Berreth was killed in her home, and that Frazee was the last person to see her.

Berreth's body has not been found, which could complicate how a jury views the case, according to former Adams County, Colorado, prosecutor Bob Grant.

Missing woman Kelsey Berreth is seen entering a Safeway grocery store in Woodland Park, Colo, in surveillance video from Nov. 22, 2018.
Woodland Park Police

"Without a body or cause of death, the prosecutor has to prove the death without any question," Grant said.

Berreth's family appears encouraged by the developments.

“The Berreths are thankful to law enforcement and the District Attorneys for continuing to diligently work on the case and bring the facts to light,” attorney Angela Jones, who is now representing the Berreth family, told ABC News in a statement on Friday.

Last month, a judge granted temporary custody of Kaylee to Berreth's parents, Cheryl and Darrell Berreth. The couple also has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Frazee.

Frazee is due back in court Feb. 19.

Lee had been employed as a nurse at St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center in Twin Falls, Idaho. But on Monday, hospital spokeswoman Michelle Bartlome told ABC News that "an individual by that name no longer works at the hospital." In January, hospital officials said Lee was on a leave of absence.