SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- "My first real friend here was a killer," said Ronelle Scott. "I didn't even know his real name. I knew him as Adam Bergs."
It's been two months since a Marionville police officer shot Bergseth to death. According to troopers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a patrolman responded to the Apple Lane Apartments about a potential kidnapping. While in the apartment, police said Bergseth threatened the officer with a pair of scissors. The Marionville Police Chief said the officer drew his weapon and shot Bergseth.
Less than a week after Bergseth's death, Springfield police searched his home in Springfield and discovered the body of a woman in a trash can.
As Ronelle Scott looked back on her time with Adam Bergseth, she spoke with a mixture of disdain and a little bit of disgrace. The two met on May 5 while he worked as a temp at her job. She said they established a fast friendship.
"He seemed friendly -- he was, but there's always something that you can tell was shady about him," said Scott. "And then eventually, you start to catch him in the lies."
She said the 37-year-old man lied about everything, from his finances to having cancer. Friends of Bergseth listed some of the many professions he claimed to have mastered: novelist, restaurateur, and video game programmer.
Cheynne Nava also became quickly involved in Bergseth's life.
"We met April Fools' (Day) of this year. I'll never forget it. He was awesome, always wanted to do things," smiled Nava, who admitted to a physical relationship with Bergseth. "It was all a lie."
Nava and Scott, both in their early 20s, said Bergseth also lied about a terrible scent in his car and garage.
"It smelled horrible, I can't even describe it," Scott said, crinkling her nose. "His reason was he had been messing with a female and her boyfriend or her fiancé -- he changed it up -- was mad and found out and dumped, one minute it was a pig's head, one minute it was pig's blood. And that's what we thought was the smell. We believed him."
Two weeks before his death, Bergseth, Scott, Nava, and some other friends went drinking at a Springfield bar, Dennis' Place. The girls said Bergseth picked up the bar tab.
"He didn't have money, but all of a sudden, there was a credit card he could use. We didn't think anything of it, we were drinking," said Scott.
Friends said Bergseth attempted to pay the tab with a credit card, but when it was denied, he left the bar.
According to a police report, the card belonged to a missing woman, Kelly Frech. A few hours after police entered the report from Dennis' Place, officers arrived at Bergseth's house. Scott said she and others were at the home without Bergseth.
"He had bills in other people's names; he had other people's identity. He had different aliases. I was really scared," said Scott.
Two items stood out to Scott: a Florida identification card and a Missouri food stamp card, both in the name of Frech.
Of course, Scott said, there was also that overwhelming smell.
"That's the first thing they (police) noticed. When they went to that garage, they said, 'What is that smell.' At the time, us not knowing anything, we're, like, that's the pig's head and everything. And they were, like, 'What?' And we told him the story and they were, like, 'That's weird.' Just like, 'What else are you going to say to that?' That's weird," said Scott.
Scott said police did not search around a trash can or attempt to look for the origins of the smell that night. It was only a month later, after Bergseth was dead, that police discovered Frech's body in a trash container on Bergseth's rented property.
"I just feel really bad because the whole time she was there. We could have done something for her. And we didn't know she was there," said Scott tearfully. "And you didn't even, like, we knew he was shady, we knew he was no good of a person, but we couldn't have imagined that there was a body there."
Regret and hindsight are plaguing the young woman who said she made friends with the wrong person.
"We were caught up in something that was way over our heads," Scott said, shaking her head. "I guess no one wants to suspect someone killed somebody but, if we would have really thought about it, there were so many clues."
Springfield police refused to confirm the identity of Frech and the status of the Bergseth case. A spokesman for the police department declined comment, citing "an open investigation."
For Scott and Nava, the pieces of Bergseth's puzzle fit together.
"The whole time, that poor girl was there. And any person, any number of people could have came across her and just too busy talking and drinking and doing whatever they were doing to notice," said Scott. "I will always think about that and think about her."