A girl who went missing for years was rescued after someone recognized her abductor from a Netflix show and reported to authorities.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children reported that Kayla Unbehaun, now 15 year old, was found safe in North Carolina after being reported as missing in South Elgin, Illinois in July 5, 2017. Her mother Heather Unbehaun was reportedly the one who abducted her from an Illinois suburb.
Asheville police spokeswoman Samantha Booth said that a woman at a Plato's Closet in Asheville recognized the mother from "published media." To note, Kayla was one of the missing kids featured in Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries, volume 3, episode 9 dubbed “Abducted by a Parent” released in November 2022.
Heather was then arrested by police following the report.
Kayla's dad, Ryan Iskerka shared with NCMEC his statement following the good news.
“I’m overjoyed that Kayla is home safe,” he said, and expressed his gratitude to law enforcement authorities who helped him with the case. Finally reunited after six years, he asked for their family’s privacy.
BREAKING NEWS ‼️— National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (@MissingKids) May 16, 2023
NCMEC is excited to share that Kayla Unbehaun has been FOUND SAFE in North Carolina!
Kayla was only 9 years old when she was abducted by her non-custodial mother, Heather Unbehaun from South Elgin, Illinois on July 5, 2017. Kayla’s dad, Ryan asked NCMEC to… pic.twitter.com/5O7bpEjIhT
“I want to thank [Elgin City’s Illinois Police and Fire Departments], the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and all of the law enforcement agencies who assisted with her case,” he continued, adding: “We ask for privacy as we get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning.”
According to the NBC News report, her father, Ryan was supposed to pick her up on July 5, 2017 after her camping trip with her non-custodial mom, Heather, but the two never arrived on the agreed time. A few days after her disappearance, her family set up a GoFundMe and Facebook page to know her whereabouts.
Meanwhile, according to ABC 7 report, her mother, Heather Unbehaun was issued a kidnapping warrant by the Kane County State’s Attorney’s office. She was arrested last weekend, but posted a bail worth $250,000 (P14 million), she is expected to appear in North Carolina court on July 11.