At first, Katelynn Berry’s parents didn’t think much when their daughter stopped answering her phone. She was young and full of adventure, leaving her home on foot to get where she needed to go without a car. They assumed she would be back soon. But the hours turned to days, and Katelynn’s parents became worried when she didn’t even respond to text messages or questions about the family Christmas. Soon, the calls started going directly to voicemail, likely because the phone had run out of battery.
Katelyn’s parents, Carmell and Hank Berry, started to go door to door to ask her friends if they had had any contact with her in the last few days. Her friends had not, and Katelynn’s parents became concerned that something terrible had happened to their daughter. She was last seen at her home, an apartment above her father’s workshop, on December 21. She was reported missing ten days later, on December 31, 2021.
Law enforcement officers searched Katelynn’s apartment after her father, Hank, reported missing and discovered items that the 26-year-old would likely have taken with her if she had purposely left home on the 21st. It did appear as though Katelyn was wearing her boots when she left. Hank and Carmell indicated that Katelyn might have put her shoes on to attend to something outside with the intention of going directly back in. For whatever reason, Katelynn did not go back into the house.
Body Consistent With Katelynn Berry Found
The search for Katelyn Berry soon began, and police officers scoured the area for any signs of the missing girl. This search would ultimately prove to be fruitless. Nearly a month later, the people of Sidney, Montana, gathered together to look for clues that might be able to explain the girl’s disappearance. On January 20, 2022, volunteer members of the search team found human remains that appeared to be consistent with the description of Katelynn Berry provided by her parents.
The medical examiner later performed an autopsy that did confirm the remains belonged to Katelynn Berry and that her cause of death had been hypothermia. But no explanation was offered as to why the police did not find her remains earlier, and it was only after volunteers were called to the scene that her body was located.
Berry Parents Devastated
Katelyn’s parents only had an incomplete story of what happened to their child. They knew that Katelynn must have gone outside willingly, but why didn’t she put her coat on? Did she expect to go back inside but get locked out or abducted by someone? Did she see someone that needed help and die while trying to get to them? These answers may never come for the Berry family despite the exhaustive investigation.
About Katelynn Berry
26-year-old Katelyn Jane Berry was born in 1995 to Hank and Carmell Berry and spent her childhood years excelling in academia. She graduated from Northland Technical College as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in Grand Forks, Montana. Her hobbies included traveling, reading, racing, and spending time with her friends.
Connect to the Katelynn’s Voice Foundation
Carmell and Hank established the Katelynn’s Voice Foundation shortly after discovering their daughter’s body and cause of death. The Foundation aims to help high school students struggling with mental illness afford higher education by awarding scholarships to those diagnosed. Recently, the organization held its 1st Annual Benefit for Mental Health & Addiction Awareness in Williston, North Dakota, with The American Legion.