National Park Service calls for public input into recent murder in Virginia

The National Park Service (NPS) has sent out a call for public input and volunteers in its investigation into last week’s murder of Kimberly Berrett, 55, outside of Verdin, Virginia.

The NPS report, dated June 30, has suggested that the public assist in the “analysis and reconstruction of several physical and biological characteristics from this crime scene to highlight different trends or practices that may indicate a link to other crimes.”

Although parts of the report are redacted, the NPS revealed that what it calls the “Middle Peninsula Incident Response Team” — or ME-IRT — is in charge of the investigation.

“The ME-IRT has responsibility for the full investigative stage,” the NPS report states.

The ME-IRT has been organized by the Middle Peninsula Park Service, which is located in Verdin. The ME-IRT includes both park service employees and volunteers.

The ME-IRT was created specifically to help with the Berrett murder investigation.

A small flier distributed to visitors to the Verdin area that evening suggested that the Middle Peninsula Park Service and the state police were looking for a man and a woman in a white Ford van.

“These persons may have information or knowledge about Ms. Berrett’s murder,” the flier said.

Both the flier and flier were found near Berrett’s body, which was discovered in the middle of a dirt road on the hills above Middle Peninsula.

“I’m hoping that someone has some information that will help us,” Jack Jagdeo, president of the Verdin Community Association, said of the ME-IRT.

In the report, the ME-IRT reported that it has expanded its search beyond the immediate area of the crime scene, outside the Middle Peninsula Park Service.

The ME-IRT report provides no suspects, or information about the victims’ identities. It does make note of the vehicles used to transport Berrett’s body from the crime scene to the morgue at the Rappahannock Regional Medical Center.

One of those vehicles had “heavy callipers” in the door, according to the ME-IRT report. Callipers are devices that are designed to help a victim move.

“Both callipers (left) and a bronze black BMW Z4 convertible (right) are the only vehicles currently used by the ME-IRT,” the report states.

The ME-IRT report describes the Geomaticological Model (GEM) for the area as a “fault report model” that is used by police departments in Virginia and other parts of the U.S. to establish characteristics of a crime scene.

When GEM models show that a physical and/or biological environment is similar to others, “GEM maps can help identify key features,” including boundaries, elevations, convex features, and flattening features, the report says.

In the ME-IRT report, the state police said that, at the request of the ME-IRT, an FBI forensic anthropologist has been called to assist in the investigation.

The ME-IRT reports are available to the public online.

It asks that residents who have information about Berrett’s death contact ME-IRT via the Virginia Department of Forensic Science’s (VDFST) website, or email the ME-IRT Team Lead Debbie Oliver via email.

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