Kayla Berg, a 15-year-old girl from the small-town of Antigo, Wisconsin, disappeared from a local McDonald's fast food restaurant August 11, 2009, and has never been found. But last October a horrifying video that had been posted five years earlier on YouTube suddenly went viral — with even police wondering if the shocking scenes in the creepy clip revealed the gut-wrenching fate of the missing girl.
The video depicted a heavyset, bespectacled man man who appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s speaking directly into the camera. The man, who called himself "Patrick," addressed an unseen person named "Walter," and described how he had found a "new girlfriend."
But the sickening twist at the end of the video showed "Patrick" opening a closet door to reveal his supposed "girlfriend" bound on the floor screaming for help. Patrick then enters the closet and ominously closes the door behind him.
Viewers of the video noticed what appeared to be a strong resemblance between the bound young woman in the closet and the missing Kayla Berg. But after police investigated, they said that they had determined that there was no connection between the disturbing video and the disappearance of Kayla Berg.
Now, an investigation by Britain's Daily Mail newspaper has exposed the maker and star of the "Hi Walter! It's Patrick!" video, and pressed the man to explain his intentions in producing the video which caused panic across the country and "sickened" Berg's mother, Hope Sprenger.
The complete Daily Mail report on the Kayla Berg video maker can be read by clicking on this link.
The viral video that, at least briefly last October, had thousands convinced that it showed the horrifying fate of Kayle Berg, is below. Be warned, even though the video is pure fiction, it contains disturbing content.
The Daily Mail discovered that the "Patrick" in the video is in reality a now-36-year-old Utica, New York, man named Michael Maton. A current photo of Maton, taken by a Mail photographer, may be viewed at this link.
Police: Disturbing YouTube video has 'no connection' to Kayla Berg | New York Post https://t.co/0EDPlA3n8EThe Mail journalists also learned that the seemingly suffering woman in the film, though she bears a passing resemblance to Kayla Berg, is actually Lucy Cavo, a local Utica actress who is also now 36-years-old. If Berg were found today, she would be 23. Cavo's Facebook page can be viewed by clicking here.
— (@Wanikaku) February 16, 2017
When first confronted, Maton denied that he was the "Patrick" in the video, accusing the paper's reporters of "slander," but he soon confessed to starring in the twisted clip.
Missing Remembered: Kayla Berg 16 yrs old in 2009 Missing 7 years from Wisconsin FBI offers $20,000 reward. We will never forget you Kayla pic.twitter.com/Q4FBdExch3"Honestly, we didn't expect it to have the reaction that it did," Maton told the paper, blaming "the media" and "the internet" for the sensation surrounding the YouTube clip. "We don't like the way the internet misconstrued the concept of it and the direction that they took it without doing proper research."
— Kid Print (@KidPrintOrg) January 23, 2017
Maton said that while the video was intended as part of an ongoing online horror series, he and his fellow video-makers quickly lost interest.
"It was just great acting," he said, explaining why, in his view, the clip ended up fooling people across the country. "It has come, it has gone, we don't want any fame."
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Maton later issued a written statement, again denying that the film was intended as a "hoax."
"We who created the video did so with no intention of harming any one or to correlate to any actual event. There was no intention of causing emotional harm to any persons," Maton wrote. "It was not a hoax or a prank which would have the connotations of causing harm or malice, it was at the time something we considered harmless and meant to be part of a fictional web horror miniseries."
[Featured Images by Center For Missing and Exploited Children, YouTube Screen Capture]