In December 2021, a 26-year-old woman vanished in Sidney, Montana. Four days before Christmas, on December 21, when Katelyn Berry was last seen, she had stopped returning calls from her parents, Carmell Mattison and Hank Berry. Since Katelynn “is an adult,” said Carmell, she and her ex-husband first had no reason to be concerned.
Both of her parents’ texts went unanswered as well. Carmell stated that they attributed Katelynn’s silence to her current lack of interest in speaking with her parents. Additionally, Carmell, who lived six hours from Sydney, claimed it was typical for her to go several days without speaking to her daughter.
In Sydney, Katelynn resided in an apartment over her father’s garage workshop. After Katelynn still had not returned calls intended to invite her over for Christmas, Hank went over personally to check if he could hear Katelynn’s cell phone when he called from outside. He reasoned that his daughter might be out with friends and carrying her phone with her after not hearing the phone ring. The worried parents then started contacting and visiting all of Katelyn’s girlfriends when her phone went straight to voicemail instead of ringing. Carmell and Hank realized something was seriously wrong when none of her friends knew where Katelynn was.
The Sheriff gets involved.
Hank Berry notified Richland County Sheriff John Dynneson of his daughter’s disappearance on the ninth day, which was December 31, 2021. Katelyn’s identification, preferred jacket, and cell phone were discovered inside her apartment after a thorough search by officials. Katelynn was nowhere to be found, however. Her cell phone records, personal accounts, and other data were investigated after the search of her apartment. The sheriff’s office took all the necessary actions in a missing person case. In addition to conducting searches, the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page was used to provide social media updates. But at this point, the truth about Katelynn Berry was still a mystery.
There was a serious risk of hypothermia due to the near below zero temperatures in Montana at that time of year. Because Katelyn’s coat, discovered at her apartment, was missing, Carmell was very concerned. Katelynn’s missing boots gave Carmell the impression that she had ventured outside to chat to someone, intending to come back inside. But she never returned. Carmel began to suspect that Katelyn had been abducted strongly.
Carmel returned to Montana to see if she might be of assistance. However, the sheriff’s office assured the media that law enforcement had already conducted all legally permissible searches. They had used drones, dogs, and a helicopter to search the area around Katelyn’s apartment, but with no success. To the shock of Katelynn’s family and the public, who had become interested in this tragic case through media reports, they came up utterly empty-handed. Until one day, when human remains were found nearby.
Just over a month after going missing, on January 24, 2022, Katelynn Berry’s remains were discovered and identified. In a location not far from Katelynn’s residence in Sydney, Montana’s easternmost town, the remains were discovered outside in the cold. Sadly, hypothermia was found to be the cause of death.
Katelynn had a habit of wandering off, and some speculate that this tragedy may have been due to mental confusion. She might have been lost in the snow due to her history of mental illness. Katelyn’s family wants people to remember Katelynn’s good things, not what happened to her later. In her memory, they have set up a fund to aid those who also struggle with mental illness and their families. Carmel, in particular, is hopeful that the stigma of mental illness can pass by openly discussing and acknowledging it with the help of this fund.