Local mom of missing daughter attends Missing Children's Conference in D.C.

ANTIGO, Wis (WSAW) -- A local mother from Antigo was able to attend the 36th annual Missing Children’s Day conference in Washington D.C. while reflecting on her daughter’s disappearance nearly 10-years later.

15-year-old Kayla Berg was last seen on August 11, 2009, at a local McDonalds in Antigo after she asked her mom if she could hang out with friends. Her mom, Hope Berg, agreed to let her go because her 16th birthday was a few days away.

“I’ll never give up and I’ll always have faith,” said Hope. “She would be 25 today, and turning 26 in August.”

After Hope got off the phone with her daughter and said “I love you,” Kayla reportedly got into a car with a friend and was dropped off in Wausau. But Hope says police never found any indication that Kayla ever arrived in Wausau.

“I still have good days and bad days, it’s still very emotional,” Hope added.

Since Kayla’s disappearance, her father passed away leaving her older brother and her mom behind. Hope has spent the past decade searching endlessly for her daughter and cooperating with local police and the FBI.

Law enforcement agencies have offered a $20,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in Kayla’s case, but so far no new information has come forward.

“If you think you know something, please…we need to find out what happened to her,” pleaded Hope. "We deserve to know, her family deserves to know."

Recently, Hope returned from a week-long conference Missing Children’s Conference in Washington D.C. where she was able to provide feedback to law enforcement on how to approach families or parents when a missing person case is filed.

“When I had to file, I was distraught, upset, very emotional as you can imagine; and law enforcement will need to learn how to deal with that. You have to listen to what the family members are saying,” Hope explained.

The conference organized by the Amber Alert System through Fox Valley Technical College covered the majority of her travel and lodging expenses. Any additional cost was surprisingly donated by Hope’s co-workers.

“I was so honored to be able to go. While I was there I got to meet Kayla’s caseworker and we had a nice one on one meeting about ideas on how to move forward with her case,” said Hope.

In the meantime, the Berg Family plans to have the annual balloon ceremony in memory of Kayla on August 11th, but this year is expected to be the last one.