SIDNEY — It’s been more than three weeks since Katelynn Berry vanished from her Sidney home. It’s been a nightmare for her family, including her father Hank Berry. He was the last to see her on December 21.
“We talked and I went to leave and I got to her door and I turned around and came back and said, 'Give me a hug, Katelynn,' and that’s the last time I saw her,” said Hank.
Katelynn lives alone in an apartment above Hank’s workshop. Her father says he stopped by Katelynn’s apartment on December 23 and 24, but she was nowhere to be seen.
“I knocked on the door and went in both times and she was gone,” said Hank.
Family members and friends continuously tried calling Katelynn’s phone but were left unanswered.
“And then her phone just started going to voicemail, and that’s when we knew there was something going on here,” said Katelynn’s mother, Carmell Mattison.
Hank reported Katelyn missing to the Richland County Sheriff’s Office on December 31.
Both Hank and Mattison suspect foul play. Katelynn left behind her phone, ID, credit cards, laptop, and even her coat.
“Right now, it’s heart-wrenching. I feel hopeless, helpless. It’s the most horrifying feeling ever,” said Hank.
The investigation has included numerous searches all over the area.
Hank spoke with Richland County Sheriff's deputies on December 12; “There’s definitely some people of interest, I think, you know that process is still in the works,” Hank said.
Several law enforcement agencies are assisting with the search.
“They had Montana DCI (Division of Criminal Investigation) in here yesterday, the FBI was in here, they have another FBI agent coming in from out east,” Hank said.
Katelynn’s family has upped the reward from $10,000 to $25,000 if someone will safely return their daughter by her 27th birthday on February 1.
They’re adamant that someone knows something about their daughter’s whereabouts: “We’re not going to give up, we’re going to find her, and if bad actors are involved and something tragic has happened to her, they’re going to pay. One hundred percent,” Hank said.
Anyone with knowledge of Berry's whereabouts is asked to call the Richland County Sheriff’s Office at 406-433-2919, or the Sidney Police Department at 406-433-2210.
You can also visit the Richland County Crimestoppers website.