Kidnapped Girl Featured on Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries Found Alive Six Years After Disappearance
Both Kayla Unbehaun, who was just nine when she went missing, and her mother Heather were featured on an episode of the show titled "Abducted by a Parent."
A 15-year-old girl who has been missing since 2017 was found alive this week — after being featured on Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries” revival in 2022.
Kayla Unbehaun was just 9 when she disappeared with her mother Heather, who did not have custody of the child at the time. According to her father, Ryan Iskerka, the parents had arranged for Heather to have Kayla for a Fourth of July camping trip, but the mother-daughter pair never came back. He filed a missing person’s report for them both on July 5 in South Elgin, Illinois and a kidnapping warrant was later issued for Heather.
Over the weekend, the Asheville Police Department in North Carolina responded to a call from thrift store Plato’s Closet to investigate a reported kidnapping. According to police, a witness at the store “believed she had recognized a woman who kidnapped a child in 2017” from “well-publicized media.” Upon investigation and confirmation from the South Elgin Police Department, the two were identified as Heather and Kalya Unbehaun.
Heather was taken into custody and booked into the Buncombe County Detention Facility on a $250,000 secured bond.
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It’s unclear whether “Unsolved Mysteries” was the “well-publicized media” in question; TooFab has reached out to the Asheville Police Department for clarification. Kayla and Heather were both featured in a November 2022 episode of the Netflix revival titled “Abducted by a Parent.”
While they weren’t the main focus of the episode, their photos were shown as part of a crawl of allegedly abducted children at the end of the hour; anyone with information was asked to reach out to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NEMEC).
The discovery comes shortly after NEMEC released a new age-progression photo of Kayla back in April (above). NEMEC issued a statement on Monday as well, confirming Kayla was located. She was later reunited with her father, who reportedly drove to pick her up before bringing her back to Illinois.
“I’m overjoyed that Kayla is home safe. I want to thank [the City of Elgin, Illinois Police and Fire Departments], the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and all of the law enforcement agencies who assisted with her case,” the girl’s father added. “We ask for privacy as we get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning.”
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