Weekend search in Langlade County connected to Kayla Berg disappearance

Published: Oct. 22, 2019 at 3:31 PM CDT
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The Antigo Police Department says a search was done over the weekend in the Nicolet National Forest in eastern Langlade County related to the search for Kayla Berg.

Berg has been missing since 2009. She was 15 years old at the time.

Antigo Police say the search area was chosen based on information that was gathered throughout the investigation. Police say nothing was found, but more work will be done.

NewsChannel 7 spoke with Hope Berg, Kayla's mother, about the search. She tells us the police department conducts these types of searches once or twice a year.

"I don't know absolutely exactly why they went through that area," Berg said over the phone. "I always hope something new is coming up. But it's a way to rule out an area, that way we know that area's been cleared."

Seven K9 teams and members of area law enforcement searched 11-square miles of the forest.

Berg was last seen by a friend in Wausau on Aug. 11, 2009 – weeks before her 16th birthday. Investigators said Kevin Kielcheski of Deerbrook was the last person to see Kayla Berg before she disappeared on Aug. 11, 2009.

Kielcheski was charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety after he said he dropped Berg off at her boyfriend's home in Wausau. She has not been heard from or seen since. The charge against Kielcheski was dismissed on July 22, 2011 citing lack of evidence.

In May 2011, police found items of interest on Kielcheski's property. At the time, Sgt. Dan Duley of the Antigo Police Department told NewsChannel 7 there is no indication that Berg was on his property. He wouldn't say what the items were. NewsChannel 7 filed an open records request in February 2016 related to the property search. Our request for more information was denied. “I have serious concerns the disclosure of these records could comprise the effectiveness of the police department’s investigation,” the response from Police Chief Eric Roller stated in part.

Police urge anyone with information about Berg's case call Antigo Police at 715-627-6411 or Langlade County Crime Stoppers at 715-627-6472. Callers can remain anonymous.

Any information leading to an arrest and conviction in Berg's case could get a $20,000 reward from the FBI.