Kayla Berg: Found or Missing? Is She Dead or Alive?

Image Credit: NBC News

In August 2009, Kayla Berg’s summer vacation came to an abrupt end when she suddenly vanished in Wausau, Wisconsin. The ensuing search for her has been plagued with a lack of credible leads and information regarding her whereabouts. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Disappeared: The Last Summer’ shines a light on the circumstances surrounding Kayla’s vanishing and how the case progressed. So, if you’re curious to find out more, we’ve got you covered.

What Happened to Kayla Berg?

Kayla May Berg grew up in Antigo, Wisconsin. The 15-year-old was described as a kind-hearted and sweet teenager who talked to everybody. While in school, Kayla was part of the dance team, looked forward to being on the gymnastic team, and dreamed of becoming a choreographer when she grew up. Kayla’s parents were separated at the time, but she and her brother would often travel between their parents’ homes whenever they wanted since they had an open-door policy.

Police: Video 100% fake, no connection to Berg disappearance | WLUK
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Kayla’s mother, Hope, spoke with her daughter on the night of August 11, 2009. She had been staying at her father’s place and, according to Hope, was planning to see some friends. Her older brother, James, also remembered talking to her that night. However, the family never heard from Kayla again. At the time, there was some miscommunication between the parents. Hope only reported her daughter missing about six days later.

Is Kayla Berg Dead or Alive?

The authorities initially believed Kayla was a runaway, but she was upgraded to a missing person two days later. The investigation revealed that on the evening of August 11, 2009, she was with a friend of her brother’s, Kevin Kielcheski. Then 24 years old, Kevin drove Kayla around Antigo for a while and said he dropped her at her boyfriend’s house in Wausau, about 40 minutes away, between 9 PM and 11 PM.

Image Credit: NBC News

At the time, Kevin stated that the lights in the house were switched off, and it looked like nobody was in there. He also didn’t actually see Kayla go in. However, Hope later remembered that Kayla knew of her boyfriend moving and had even visited the new house. She added, “For her to be dropped off at night, at his old, abandoned house, with nobody there? I can’t see it.” The authorities at the time felt that Kayla’s friends were withholding information regarding where she was, but as time progressed, that theory was discounted.

The boyfriend denied ever seeing Kayla that night. Then, in October 2009, Kevin was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment. On the night Kayla disappeared, the two had allegedly been smoking marijuana. However, the charges were dropped in July 2011 because of a lack of evidence.

In the years after Kayla’s disappearance, the authorities have continued to investigate it as an active missing case and have received several tips. However, nothing has been concrete enough to lead them to Kayla’s whereabouts. While Kevin hasn’t been considered a suspect in the case, it was reported that he stopped cooperating with the authorities. In 2016, a video from October 2009 surfaced, showing a girl resembling Kayla bound in a basement. However, this was later reported to be fake.

Kayla’s mother still hoped that her daughter was alive but felt she was abducted. Hope added, “Somebody doesn’t just vanish off the face of the earth. I think something bad happened, but I don’t know for sure. Then there’s that hope and faith that she is out there somewhere safe and we can bring her home. There’s a lot of things that run through your mind when something like this happens.”

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