ANTIGO, Wis. (AP) — Authorities in Wisconsin are asking for public help to determine the origin of a disturbing video posted online in 2009 that some believe may be connected to a missing person.
The video shows a man talking to the camera about his new girlfriend, then shows a female, apparently bound, in a small bathroom crying.
Fifteen-year-old Kayla Berg, of Antigo, vanished a couple of months before the video was posted in 2009. Police say she had been dropped off by an acquaintance in Wausau. Berg's mother, Hope Sprenger, told WAOW-TV in Wausau that she watched the video.
It "sounded like her, looked like her. It gave me chills," Sprenger said. "Disturbing. It made me sick to my stomach."
Antigo Police Chief Eric Roller told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was recently made aware of the video through a citizen tip, although it was posted seven years ago.
"There are some similarities. It could be real and it could be staged. We have to take it seriously," Roller said.
The video had about 940,000 views on YouTube before it was taken down Tuesday.
"The positive thing is getting Kayla's name back out there. The negative is that the family has to relive another lead," that may not pan out, Roller said.
For Sprenger, the video refreshes a nightmare that began seven years ago.
"I thought it looked a lot like her," she said. "I pray to God it's not."
Antigo police have forwarded the video to the FBI, which has long been involved in the case and has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to Berg or an arrest.