The search for 26-year-old Sidney woman, Katelynn Berry, has been suspended following the discovery of human remains Thursday morning near Sidney.
The remains were discovered by a team of volunteers organized as part of a massive effort to conduct a grounds search for Berry who has been missing since Dec. 21. The remains were discovered at about 9:20 a.m.
“The Richland County Sheriff’s Office, members of the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, as well as other law enforcement assets have secured the area and are actively processing and documenting the scene,” Sidney Police Chief Mark Kraft said in a statement Thursday morning.
The remains still need to be positively identified, but search efforts for Berry have been suspended the chief said. The body will be sent to the state crime lab for an autopsy.
“I would like to express our sincerest gratitude and respect to our civilian volunteers and area law enforcement partners for their overwhelming support in this effort,” the chief added.
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Earlier in the week area law enforcement put out a request for volunteers to search a preplanned area for Berry by dividing the search among the volunteer teams.
Berry’s father, Hank Berry, is a Sidney resident. He built an apartment for his daughter above his shop. He told police he last saw her Dec. 21 when they had lunch. A search of her apartment discovered several items, including a cell phone and coat, police said. Berry’s mother, Carmell Mattison, is a Grand Forks, North Dakota, county prosecutor, according to the Grand Forks Forum newspaper.
In early 2012, Sidney school teacher Sherry Arnold went missing while out for a morning run. She was missing for more than two months before her body was found in a shallow grave in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. Two men who had come from out of state to the oil patch looking for work were convicted of killing Arnold.