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Body in trash bin in Springfield belonged to woman from Florida

Kelly Ann Frech was 27 years old when she died.

September 04, 2012|by Ashley Reynolds and Gene Hartley, KY3 News | areynolds@ky3.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The human remains found in a trash container behind a home this summer belonged to a 27-year-old woman from Florida.  Springfield police have released no information about the remains, but her identity was revealed by Marionville Police Chief Mark Webb, whose nose led investigators to the body.

Webb says the woman was Kelly Frech, born July 3, 1984.  In a strange twist of fate, police found her body on July 3, 2012, in the trash container behind 1231 W. Edgewood St., next to Fort Avenue.  That was the home of Adam Bergseth, who was shot dead by Marionville Police Officer Danny Hughes on June 30.  Bergseth attacked the officer with a pair of scissors outside an apartment building in Marionville before Hughes shot him.

Webb says Bergseth was driving a car with Florida license plates before he was shot.  It turns out the car was registered to Frech.  Webb says the car smelled as if someone or something had died in it.  That smell is what led Marionville and Springfield police to check out Bergseth’s home, where they found the human remains.

The Greene County medical examiner said a few weeks ago that he’d identified the body using dental records, but he left it up to Springfield police to release the name.  Springfield Police Department spokesman Cpl. Matt Brown said detectives asked for DNA analysis of the remains to verify the identity, and weren’t willing to release the name of the woman, even though they’d been in contact with her family.

Webb said Friday that he’s talked to Frech’s parents about the case.  He wasn’t willing to give a reporter the names of those parents.  Webb said Frech was not married.  He isn't sure how Frech and Bergseth became acquainted.  On the night he was killed, Bergseth may have been in Marionville to try to meet another woman whom he met online.

In addition to using Frech’s car, Webb says Bergseth also was using Frech’s credit card.  He said Dennis' Place, a bar in Springfield, refused to honor the credit card when Bergseth tried to pay a tab with it, and Bergseth left.  That was two weeks before Bergseth was killed in Marionville.

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When Springfield police officers investigating the unpaid bill went to Bergseth's home, they asked about the horrid smell in the garage, the same smell that Webb later smelled in Bergseth's car in Marionville.  Webb says the friends told police that Bergseth told them that the smell came from a man putting a dead pig or pig's blood in the car in retaliation for Bergseth messing with the man's girlfriend.

Webb thought Frech lived in Lakeland, Fla., before she came to Springfield.  A search of some online sites also indicated Frech may have lived in Longwood, Fla.  The photo of her is a mug shot from 2003, when she was arrested in Seminole County by Sanford police.  KY3 News hasn't learned why she was arrested that year.

Frech lived at the Hunter's Glen Apartment complex at 1710 W. Erie St., about a mile south of Bergseth's home.  A reporter knocked on her apartment door on Friday afternoon.  The new tenants, who have lived there since July, say Springfield police have searched the apartment several times as part of their investigation.  The new tenants say they've heard Frech hadn't paid rent for several months, an indication that Frech may have been dead for quite a while before her body was found.

Springfield police have released no information about their homicide investigation, including officially calling it a homicide.  That includes how Frech might have died, how long she had been dead, and whether they've concluded if Bergseth killed Frech.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating the shooting of Bergseth by the Marionville officer.  Webb says the Highway Patrol investigation is not complete, but has advanced far enough for Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Don Trotter to conclude Officer Hughes should not be charged for shooting Bergseth.  When asked about the investigation two weeks ago, Trotter would only say he hadn’t received the Highway Patrol report.

Because of the preliminary findings by the Highway Patrol, Webb says Hughes returned to his duties this week, after being on paid administrative leave since June 30. 

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