A disturbing YouTube video originally thought to be linked to a 2009 missing-person case — that of a teenage girl named Kayla Berg — has turned out to be a hoax, Wisconsin police confirmed on Tuesday, October 11.
According to The Daily Beast, the video was posted two months after Antigo, Wisconsin, resident Berg disappeared at the age of 15. The clip, which is titled “Hi Walter! I got a new gf today!,” recently resurfaced and has gone viral. It features an unidentified man speaking erratically to the camera before he cuts to a woman being held captive in a dark room.
The Antigo Police Department posted about the investigation via Facebook. “The Antigo Police Department has been investigating the Hi Walter, its Patrick, I have a new girlfriend video that was on youtube.com. The Antigo Police with the help of another law enforcement agency has been able to identify that this video is 100% fake and was a video that was produced to be placed on youtube.com,” the statement read.
“The Antigo Police Department has identified the video producer/camera man, actor and actress in the video,” the statement continued. “THIS VIDEO HAS NO CONNECTION TO THE DISAPPEARANCE OF KAYLA BERG. Thank you to everyone for their assistance in this investigation.”
One day earlier, Berg’s mother, Hope Sprenger, told WAOW that the woman in the video sounded like her daughter. “Disturbing. It made me sick to my stomach,” Sprenger said. “I thought it looked a lot like her.” Per The Daily Beast, Berg’s brother Jimmy asked people on Facebook to stop sharing the footage.
Berg’s whereabouts are still unknown. According to CNN, Jimmy’s friend drove her to her boyfriend’s home in nearby Wausau the last night she was seen. The boyfriend was never charged, but the friend was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment. He pleaded not guilty, and the case was dropped.
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