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Grand Forks County prosecutor holding out hope daughter is found alive

Grand Forks County Assistant State's Attorney Carmell Mattison admits it gets harder as each day passes that her 26-year-old daughter Katelynn is not found.

Grand Forks County prosecutor holding out hope daughter is found alive
Grand Forks County Assistant State's Attorney Carmell Mattison with her 26-year-old daughter Katelynn Berry.
Submitted Photo

SIDNEY, Mont. — Tuesday, Jan. 4, was day five in the search for 26-year-old Katelynn Berry.

Land and air searches around her home in Sidney, Montana, have turned up nothing. State crime investigators along with the FBI have been called in to help.

Right now they don't have a single clue why the young woman is missing.

Mattison is the assistant state's attorney in Grand Forks County.

Katelynn Berry, who grew up in Grand Forks and for the past few years has moved between her mom's house and where her dad lives in Sidney, was last seen Dec. 21. That's when her dad dropped off some McDonald's at her apartment next to his workshop. Over the next few days her family tried to call her but Berry never answered.

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"We just thought she's just selectively taking calls or not taking calls, and we let it be at that and just denied anything is wrong, (that) she is out with friends," explained Mattison.

When the phone went directly to voicemail, Berry's dad reported her missing on New Year's Eve. While the lead investigator on the case called it “alarming” and "suspicious" that 10 days had passed, including Christmas, from the time Berry disappeared and was reported missing, the family disagrees.

"It wasn't uncommon for her to go hang out with friends for several days, and kind of go off the grid and not return her calls to her family," Mattison said.

Mattinson has since gone into her daughter's apartment for a mother's intuition about what happened to her daughter.

"(It's) like she just slipped on her boots to go outside for a minute and planning on going right back into the apartment right after that," said Mattison fight back tears. "There was no intention she was going to leave for any amount of time, and I don't know what happened."

Mattison did not want to comment if she suspects foul play.

Over the past two decades Mattison has prosecuted and been involved with some of North Dakota’s most high-profile cases, like the kidnapping and murder of Dru Sjodin.

"I've sat in my office with many families who are going through what we're going through and much worse, and I just try to keep telling them to have faith in what's being done, how hard everyone's working. Just to focus on your own emotional mental health, keep yourself healthy.

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This worried mom is pleading with anyone who has talked with her daughter leading up to her disappearance to call police.

"We can find Katelynn, we can bring her home," Mattison said. "Because honestly, I don't know if my heart could take any other outcome."

Mattison has been been hanging posters in the Wiliston area, and is in the process of creating a website to spread awareness about her daughter's disappearance.

Related Topics: GRAND FORKS
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