Missing girl Kayla Unbehaun featured on ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ found safe 6 years later after stranger recognizes her

By Olivia Land

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.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.573.0_en.html#goog_522002849https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.573.0_en.html#goog_1987509276https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.573.0_en.html#goog_204253198500:0201:30

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.

Kayla Unbehaun.
Kayla was 9 years old when her mother abducted her from South Elgin in July 2017.

“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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *