|Adam Bergseth sent the photo on the right to a friend not long before he was shot and killed by a Matrionville police officer; photo on left is a mug shot from the Seminole FL County sheriff's office|
Two women who spent a great deal of time with Adam Bergseth before he was shot and killed by a Marionville police officer after he lunged at the officer with a pair of scissors in late June say he was a man with many secrets.
Twenty one year-old Cheynne Nava was in an open relationship with Bergseth. "I saw other people and he saw other people. It worked for us."
Nava says Bergseth was a swinger who said he was 31 years-old. "When I found out he was really 37 it grossed me out."
Nava says a group of friends, including Bergseth, went to Dennis' Place on June 12th and Bergseth opened a tab with a credit card. Nava and another of Bergseth's friends, Ronelle Scott, left the bar and were walking back to Bergseth's rented home at 1231 W. Edgewood when they were contacted by one of Bergseth's roommates, LM
LM told the women that they needed to come back to the bar because Bergseth bolted when the credit card he was using was declined and the police were there. That credit card belonged to Kelly Frech, whose remains were found in a trashcan in Bergseth's backyard on July 3rd, on what would have been the woman's 28th birthday.
|Kelly Frech (courtesy Jeanne Frech)|
Nava says officers went to Bergseth's home in the early morning hours of June 13th and found a houseful of people partying. "They told us they couldn't touch anything because they didn't have a search warrant. I handed them a lot of mail with different names on it and they said he was into identity theft."
After the cops left Bergseth's home Nava searched his room because some of the things he was telling her "just didn't add up." Nava says she found a photo ID in the name of Kelly Frech, a $2,000 check made out to Frech, a Missouri EBT (food stamp) card, Wal-Mart credit card and a Suntrust Bank card and checks in Frech's name.
"He told me that it was one of his aliases," said Nava. "He said his ex-wife was trying to take all his money and this was a way he could hide it from her." Bergseth, who had grown up in California, was never married to Laurie Weiss, but they had been in a decade old relationship and had three children before she ended the relationship last year in Florida.
In 2009, Bergseth, who has also lived in Republic, Bolivar and the state of Nevada, was charged with being a persistent DWI offender and driving while revoked in Greene County. By 2011, he had violated the conditions of his probation and parole at least 12 times and authorities in Greene County issued a warrant for his arrest on June 15th after he failed to appear for a probation violation hearing.
“Subject has consistently demonstrated throughout the years that he [has] no intention of complying with terms of his probation,” the probation officer wrote in a report to the Greene County Court asking that Bergseth’s probation be revoked.
In July of last year he was arrested by the Sanford, Florida, police department and booked in to the Seminole County jail. Online records do not say what he was being held for or if any charges were filed against him at that time.
In November of 2011, Bergseth was arrested after police in Sanford received a tip that he was wanted on an arrest warrant out of Missouri and was driving on a suspended license. At that time he told police he was homeless, according to The Sanford Herald.
According to Frech's mother Jeanne, Kelly met Bergseth at a crisis center near Longwood, Florida and followed him to Missouri late last year. Jeanne Frech says she had not heard from her daughter since January and didn't know her whereabouts until she was contacted by police about the discovery of the remains. "He told her he had three degrees, one of them in English."
A former roommate of Kelly Frech says she had been visiting Bergseth at the Seminole County jail and one day she told her roommates that she was going to follow him back to Missouri when he was extradited. "We begged her not to go."
Nava and Scott say they both knew that Bergseth was a liar. "But we just couldn't connect the dots," said Scott.
Nava says she began dating Bergseth on April Fools Day and a few weeks later asked him about a "terrible" smell in the garage. "He told me that he was messing around with a bartender at the Sky Box and her fiancee found out and put a severed pigs head and dumped pigs blood in his car. I have never smelled anything like that.....EVER."
Nava said there was blood on the concrete in the garage and driveway and when she asked him about it he said, "it got there when he moved the pigs head from the car." It was later determined that the card Bergseth claimed as his own was in fact Kelly Frech's Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Nava says the smell from the garage got so bad in May that it started to permeate the inside of the house. "I told him he needed to move it and he pushed it to the backyard."
Nava said when officers with the SPD were at Bergseth's house on June 13th they commented on the smell and she told them the story about the pigs head in the trash can. "They said that's weird, but they didn't look in the trashcan and I didn't either."
Scott says she and other friends camped out in Bergseth's backyard sometime in late May and is disturbed that she was so close to Frech's remains and didn't even know it.
According to an incident report, on June 15th the SPD began an investigation into Bergseth for allegedly sending harassing text messages to Nava and Mills.
Nava says Bergseth then contacted her through her facebook page on June 16th or 17th and told her he "was at a cabin by a lake finishing a book he was writing and was going to commit suicide."
Bergseth met Erica Chaffin, at whose house he was fatally shot, through a Craig's List ad around the same time he claimed to be at the cabin. Chaffin said she had been trying to catch her husband cheating and Bergseth responded to the ad and the two began a physical relationship the weekend of the fatal shooting.
Bergseth told Chaffin and a friend of hers that he was a video game developer and that he traveled extensively for his job.
Chaffin says Bergseth offered to help her make a furniture payment that weekend and when they arrived at the furniture store Bergseth handed her a check. "They didn't accept checks...and thank God they didn't." It was while she was on her way out of the store that Chaffin noticed the check didn't belong to Bergseth...it belonged Kelly Frech.
Chaffin says Bergseth then drove her to Great Southern Bank on Battlefield on the afternoon he was killed and attempted to have her pose as a woman named Jillian or Julianne Phipps in order to cash a state check. "I asked him who Julianne was and he said you are now." Chaffin says the drive thru teller gave the check back to them and said she couldn't cash it if the person did not have an account at the bank.
Nava says Bergseth told her he owned a restaurant in Springfield and sold it before he moved to Florida. He also claimed to have owned a very successful restaurant in Florida and selling it for a huge profit. "He said he didn't have to work because he was living of royalties" from the sale.
Ronelle Scott says the group of friends knew Bergseth was "shady." "Everything he told us was a lie. Everything.."