Disappearance of Antigo teen hits 13-year mark

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 12:07 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ANTIGO, Wis. (WSAW) - Thirteen years have now passed since Kayla Berg seemingly vanished. Berg, who will turn 29-years-old later this month, was last seen on Aug. 11, 2009.

Antigo Police Chief Dan Duley said on the anniversary, “It’s a frustrating case to me.” He has been investigating her disappearance from the beginning.

“There’s really not a day that goes by that I don’t think about this case or there’s something that comes up with it,” he said. “So, it’s always on my mind, always this day is just a little harder because it is that anniversary date and it’s another year past that we don’t have the resolve finding where Kayla is at.”

Investigators said she was given a ride from Antigo to Wausau by a friend and was not seen again.

In September 2009, police believed Kayla was with friends who were withholding her whereabouts, however, due to the amount of time that has passed they no longer believe that is the case.

The following month, a charge of second-degree reckless endangerment was filed against a then 24-year-old man who gave Berg the ride to Wausau. The Antigo Police Chief said by filing the charge they hoped it would push those who know what happened to Kayla, to come forward. The charge was dismissed by prosecutors less than two years later citing lack of probable cause.

In May 2011, then-Sgt. Dan Duley said “things of interest were found” were found on the man’s property, but there was no indication that Berg was on his property. He declined to say what the items were.

In July 2010, the case gained national attention and was featured on CNN’s Find Our Children segment. Reporters discussed her case and asked viewers across the nation for their help locating the missing girl.

During interviews with NewsChannel 7 over the years, the Antigo Police Department said the search for Kayla Berg remains a high priority. In 2012, Captain Nate Musolff said tips as to her whereabouts continue to come in, many coming from outside of the state. Musolff said most of the tips come from people with friends and family in Antigo. The department has a dedicated officer who spends at least a few hours each day working on the case.

The case got a big push that year when the FBI offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual or individuals involved in the crime related to the disappearance of Kayla May Berg. But, despite numerous interviews and tips, no solid information has lead investigators to Kayla.

In Feb. 2016, NewsChannel 7 filed an open records request with the Antigo Police chief in regard to that 2011 property search. Our request was denied. The denial letter read, “I have serious concerns that disclosure of the records could comprise the effectiveness of the police department’s investigation.”

In June 2017, Investigation Discovery aired an episode of “Disappeared” highlighting the case of missing Antigo teen-- Kayla Berg. Duley said he thought the episode captured the case well and they have received tips that have furthered the case since then. They have also tried using new investigative technology where applicable as it has developed over the years.

All of this outreach happened because of the determination of Berg’s family and friends, especially her mother, Hope Berg.

During an interview with NewsChannel 7 in 2017, Berg said, “You know, I’m sad, but I just feel kind of numb all over, I mean [then] eight years, really? I don’t feel like I’m any further ahead than I was eight years ago.”

Berg is described as a white female, 5 foot 2 inches (at time of disappearance), 108 pounds (at time of disappearance), brown hair and brown eyes. Kayla’s ears and navel are pierced. She also has scars on the right side of her nose and on her right shin. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to call 715-627-6411.

Copyright 2021 WSAW. All rights reserved.