Official: Missing deputy likely victim of suicide |

Official: Missing deputy likely victim of suicide

Staff and wire reports

MINDEN – The Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy last seen headed to work on Wednesday was found dead from an apparent suicide Thursday afternoon.

“It is with great sadness that the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department must report that the body of Deputy Branden Berry was located this afternoon at 3:40 p.m.,” said Sgt. Tom Mezzetta in a press release. “Deputy Berry was discovered deceased, seated in his vehicle, which was parked behind a shopping center in northern Douglas County.”

Mezzetta said a preliminary investigation indicates that Berry died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Officials became worried when the new recruit failed to show up for his second day on the job Wednesday.

Mezzetta said Berry, 22, began work at the jail on Tuesday after graduating from the Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Academy at Western Nevada Community College in August.

The next day, he left the home he shares with his mother in Carson City around 6:15 a.m. to drive to work, but never showed up.

No one has seen or heard from him since.

“He just vanished,” Mezzetta said earlier Thursday.

Authorities said Berry was believed to be wearing his uniform when he left his home, and it doesn’t appear he took any other personal possessions that morning, other than his law-enforcement equipment.

Mezzetta said Berry seemed excited about his new career.

“After he was sworn in, he was taken around,” Mezzetta said. “He was very positive and upbeat about starting work here with the sheriff’s office. There’s no indication he had a change of heart.”

Mezzetta said Berry’s mother saw him Wednesday morning.

“She assumes he left for work, and he never shows,” he said.

“He got dressed for work Wednesday morning, we know that,” Mezzetta said.