The family of a Colorado woman who authorities believe was killed by her fiance was awarded temporary custody of her 1-year-old daughter.
Kelsey Berreth, 29, was last seen in public on Thanksgiving shopping with her daughter, Kaylee, at a Safeway grocery store in her hometown of Woodland Park.
Kaylee had already been in the care of her maternal grandparents after the court granted them a temporary emergency custody order on Dec. 21, the same day the girl’s father, Patrick Frazee, was arrested and charged with murder. The child had been with Frazee until his arrest.
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The Teller County Department of Human Services will maintain legal custody of the child, Colorado Supreme Court spokesman Rob McCallum said on Thursday. The court will make a final decision on who is awarded custody of the child during a pre-trial conference on Jan. 3.
Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said during a press conference last week that they believe Berreth was killed at her home. Authorities are still searching for a body, but De Young said "information has been developed" that is helping them narrow down their search.
Frazee, who did not live with Berreth, had previously told police that the last time he saw Berreth was on Nov. 22 when she dropped off their daughter with him. He had said the last he was in communication with Berreth was on Nov. 25 when she sent him a text message.
Berreth wasn't reported missing until Dec. 2 by her mother.
Frazee was charged with first-degree murder and solicitation of first-degree murder and is being held at the Teller County Jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 31.
Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.