A recently surfaced video depicting a bound and gagged woman who authorities said looked like missing Wisconsin teen Kayla Berg, is a staged hoax.
The video showing a woman held captive by a man, which quickly went viral and captured the attention of the police, had many believing the victim was Kayla Berg, the 15-year-old teen who has been missing since 2009.
The video, which was posted online back in 2009, prompted Wisconsin authorities to ask the public’s help to identify the origin of a disturbing video, which many believed showed a teen, with similarities matching Kayla Berg bound and gagged in a basement.
On Wednesday morning, Antigo Police Department officials released a statement on its Facebook page which stated: Detectives have been investigating the “Hi Walter, it’s Patrick, I have a new girlfriend video” that appeared on youtube.com. With the help of another law enforcement agency, the Antigo Police Dept. has determined the video to be a 100% fake, the statement read.
“The Antigo Police Department has identified the actor, actress along with the video producer/cameraman, in the video. THIS VIDEO HAS NO CONNECTION TO THE DISAPPEARANCE OF KAYLA BERG. Thank you to everyone for their assistance in this investigation,” officials said in the statement.
Berg had gone missing months before the video was first posted to Youtube.
She was last seen getting dropped her off in front of what she claimed was the home of her boyfriend In Wausau. However, Police investigators said it might have been an abandoned house.
One of those convinced by the video was Berg’s mother, Hope Sprenger, who told WAOW-TV the girl in the video looked like and ‘sounded like her, It gave me chills.”
“It’s disturbing, and it made me sick to my stomach,” Sprenger said.
Police recently learned of the 7-year-old video after receiving a tip, Antigo Police Chief Eric Roller told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
In recent days, a user named TheGeminiTiger on Imgur posted the clip as part of a collective of “scary Youtube Videos,” which prompted many users commenting, to point out clues that the video could be real, including what appeared to be blood on a doorframe.
The woman in the video is wearing sleeveless red short, similar to what Berg was wearing the night she vanished, The Charley Project reported.
The poster also mentioned that in the past, several videos previously dismissed as hoaxes turned out to be real such as the serial killer Luke Magnotta’s disturbing videos.
A woman named Sarah Bull denied she portrayed the kidnapped woman in the video back in August.
Another user who goes by the name ScareTheater analyzed the video in August and determined the clip to be a hoax. “Why was she only crying when he opened the door?” the poster asks.
The video was so convincing, it had the brother of Kayla believing the woman in the video was his sister.
On his Facebook wall, James Berg wrote: “To be honest, I almost had a panic attack at work, shut down my machines and had to go sit outside,’ he wrote. “I don’t know if my mind is playing tricks [sic] or not, but the videos release date…the looks…the sound of scared screams/yelling…if you want my opinion to let’s just say this…we’ve contacted the FBI.”