SIDNEY, Mont. – Law enforcement officials have opened a criminal investigation into the disappearance of a 26-year-old woman from Sidney, Montana, who was reported missing Dec. 31.
Katelynn Berry was last seen by her father, Hank Berry, at his Sidney flat on the afternoon of December 21 when he brought her lunch. He reported her missing 10 days later after she hadn’t returned his phone calls or texts for days.
Berry is the daughter of Grand Forks County Assistant District Attorney Carmell Mattison. His father, a local warehouse manager, said Berry traveled back and forth between Grand Forks and Sidney, an oil town of about 6,300 people 10 miles west of the North Dakota border. .
Law enforcement has decided to open a criminal investigation, in addition to treating her disappearance as a missing person case, as it is ‘suspicious’ that no one has heard of her or knows where she is. finds, and when authorities searched her apartment, they found her cellphone and winter jacket — items she likely won’t leave behind, Richland County Sheriff John Dynneson said.
The police had not identified any suspects on the night of Monday January 3.
In addition to searches on foot with police dogs, authorities scanned the area around his apartment from the air via drone and helicopter, Dynneson said.
Law enforcement is also contacting Berry’s friends and acquaintances who may have spoken to him at the time of his disappearance, Dynneson said. They are also sifting through his cell phone records, which include a text message sent from his phone on December 23.
Multiple agencies, including the U.S. Border Patrol, FBI and Montana Criminal Investigations Division, are assisting local law enforcement with the investigation into Berry’s disappearance, Dynneson said.
Berry’s father told Forum News Service that his daughter usually stays near the apartment he built for her next to his workshop. She did not work, drive or drink alcohol, and had mental health issues in the past, her father said. She spent much of her time listening to music, drawing and hanging out with friends, he noted.
“I just want her to come home,” Hank Berry said in tears. “I just want to give him a big hug.”
Authorities are urging members of the public with information about Berry’s disappearance to contact law enforcement. Dynneson said residents who live in and around Sidney are encouraged to search their own properties for anything suspicious that may be linked to Berry’s disappearance.
If you have information about Berry’s disappearance, call the Richland County (Montana) Sheriff’s Office at 406-433-2919, or the Sidney Police Department at 406-433-2210.