26-year-old Katelynn Berry was an adventurous woman who didn’t hesitate to leave home on foot when she needed to get around. That’s why when she initially didn’t answer her phone, Katelynn’s parents didn’t feel the need to panic right away. It wasn’t unusual for her to go a few days without picking up her phone if she was out and about with friends. But Katelynn’s phone would continue to ring for several days, and texts would go unanswered. Her parents asked if she was coming home for Christmas, but they were still unable to reach her.
Katelynn’s father, Hank Berry, and her mother, Carmell, soon contacted the police about their daughter. It was unusual for her to go such a long time without calling or texting, and her parents began to feel uneasy. They asked Katelynn’s friends if anyone had seen or heard from her, and they had not. On December 31, 2021, she was reported missing.
Her apartment was searched, and the police discovered her bag, ID, and jacket in the home. However, they found that her boots were missing. This struck her parents as odd since these were things that Katelyn would normally take with her if she were going anywhere outside. They suggested to officials that perhaps Katelyn answered the door and put her boots on to step outside but did not or could not come back inside to retrieve her coat or other personal belongings.
Body Discovered a Month Later Believed to Be Katelynn Berry
Initial searches conducted by law enforcement were unsuccessful. Soon, the family formed the Facebook group Bring Katelynn Berry Home and rallied members of the small Montana community to help them look for the 26-year-old. The search lasted for a month before a body matching the description of Katelyn Berry was located just a short distance away from her apartment on January 20, 2022. It remains unclear why the girl’s remains were discovered so close to her apartment only after volunteers joined the search.
Following an autopsy, the medical examiner released Katelynn’s cause of death as hypothermia. It appears that Katelyn left her home without adequate attire for Montana’s brutal weather and quickly succumbed to the frigid temperatures.
Berry Parents Lay Their Daughter to Rest
Hank and Carmell had the difficult task of saying goodbye to their daughter, but even more difficult was the fact that no evidence suggested how Katelynn died. Did someone knock on her door and abduct her after she came outside? Or did she get locked out of the house and die on her way to get help from someone else? Unfortunately, the Berry parents may never truly know what happened to their daughter on the night of December 21, 2021.
Who Was Katelynn Berry?
Katelyn Berry was a 26-year-old college graduate of Northland Technical College in Grand Forks, Montana. As part of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Katelynn excelled academically and always earned high marks in school, even from a young age. She was intensely loyal and a passionate big sister to her three siblings, all of whom were younger than her.
Donate to the Katelynn’s Voice Foundation
The Berry’s established the Katelynn’s Voice Foundation. This non-profit organization is set to award college scholarships to high school graduates who suffer from mental illness in both Montana and Minnesota. The Foundation recently paired with The American Legion to host the 1st Annual Benefit for Mental Health & Addiction Awareness in Williston, North Dakota.