Details of Disappearance Bertha was last seen in her home in the 100 block of east 13th Street in Port Angeles, Washington on February 20, 1970. She has never been heard from again. She apparently left home sometime after midnight, leaving behind her three children, aged between two and six years old, alone. She also left her purse behind.
Bertha was in the process of a divorce at the time of her 1970 disappearance and was seeing another man. Police have named her husband, Douglas A. Burke, as a person of interest in her disappearance. They had married in 1958. She was seeking the divorce on grounds of cruelty.
In 2003, 33 years after Bertha disappeared, investigators searched for her body with ground-penetrating radar and cadaver dogs. They concentrated on the driveway of her former home, and a parking lot behind Douglas's former place of work on east 8th Street. Tests indicated that something was buried underneath a concrete slab, but when authorities dug underneath it they found no evidence. Nothing was located during the search and investigators do not plan to search further.
Foul play is suspected in Bertha's disappearance. Douglas remarried after her disappearance and then died in 2008. In his obituary, Bertha was said to have died in February 1970, the month she disappeared. Her case is unsolved.
- Port Angeles Police Department
Updated 8 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 3, 2019; picture added, details of disappearance updated.