Murdered Tennessee man’s missing bird returned to family

The bird was found dozens of miles away from where it was last seen.
Rikka, a parakeet, was returned to its family after having gone missing for months.
Rikka, a parakeet, was returned to its family after having gone missing for months.(Tonya Norman)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:01 PM CDT
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WATER VALLEY, Tenn. (WSMV) – A murdered Summertown man’s bird is back with its family after going missing for more than two months.

Rikka, a 7-year-old Green Cheek Conure, belonged to 25-year-old Patrick Berger. He was shot and killed on St. Patrick’s Day in Summertown, authorities said.

Tonya Norman told WSMV4 the bird was found Tuesday inside her barn in the small community of Water Valley, located near Spring Hill and dozens of miles away from Summertown. Norman said her husband and brother-in-law were in the barn working with a welding machine when the bird appeared.

Norman was able to track down Berger’s mother Bridget on Facebook. She had been posting about the bird in hopes it would turn up and was emotional when she came to retrieve Rikka, Norman said.

Rikka(Tonya Norman)

Rikka would sit on Berger’s shoulder while he welded, so the bird being found around welding machines in the barn was special, Norman said.

“It was so godly,” Norman said. “All I can say is he had his hand in it.”

The investigation into Berger’s murder is still underway and it’s still unclear exactly what happened to Rikka after Berger’s murder. Norman and others believe the bird was taken after Berger’s homicide and did not fly miles to Water Valley from Summertown.

“It had to be taken here,” Norman said.