A missing Illinois girl whose abduction was featured on a popular true crime series on Netflix was found alive and safe in North Carolina after a stranger recognized her.
Kayla Unbehaun was 9 years old when her noncustodial mother, Heather Unbehaun, abducted her from South Elgin on July 5, 2017, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) said.
Neither Kayla nor Heather had been located until May 13, when an employee at Plato’s Closet in Asheville, North Carolina, recognized the pair from “well-publicized media” and alerted police, WLOS reported.
It is not clear precisely from what media the worker recognized the mother and daughter, but Kayla’s kidnapping was featured in an episode of Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries” last year dedicated to parental abductions.
Heather, 40, was arrested by local authorities and is being held on $225,000 bond, the outlet said.
She is awaiting extradition to Illinois, where the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office is prepared to charge her with at least one count of child abduction.
Kayla, now 15, is in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Social Services.
In July 2017, Heather only had visitation rights with Kayla, who primarily resided with her father, Ryan Iskerka.
“I’m overjoyed that Kayla is home safe. I want to thank the South Elgin Police Department, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and all of the law enforcement agencies who assisted with her case,” Iskerka said in an emotional statement shared through NCMEC.
“I also want to thank all of the followers on the ‘Bring Kayla Home’ Facebook page, who helped keep her story alive and were instrumental in spreading awareness. We ask for privacy as we get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning.”
Please, please, PLEASE do NOT call these types of missing person cases – ABDUCTIONS. THEY ARE NOT. They are ILLEGAL HOLDINGS of a child by their BIOLOGICAL parent attributed by a custody battle. NOTHING MORE. The child was never in any danger. STOP THE CLICK-BAIT BULLSHIT!
Sorry Louis but it is an abduction. The mother took the child across state lines and in fact half a country away from the father who was the custodial parent. Because the court usually awards custody to the mother, it is fair to say that the mother may have not been the best choice for the child and you don’t know that the child was not in any danger.
Can we really trust the courts for the best care of our children? Doesn’t seem so anymore. I’m not saying either side is right. I just know the courts system does not have your child’s best interest at heart.
Not only did you click it, you made an idiotic post about it!
Go back to 3rd grade moron