Missing girl featured on Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries found alive after 6 years

A seven-year-old girl from Illinois, Kayla Unbehaun, went missing in 2017 while her mother was looking after her. Her mother, Heather, was arrested last week and the girl was found alive.

Kayla's mother was arrested for kidnapping her daughter six years ago
© Filo / Getty Images
Kayla's mother was arrested for kidnapping her daughter six years ago

If you too are obsessed with true crime documentaries on Netflix, then you have definitely heard of Kayla Unbehaun, whose case was featured on the platform's Unsolved Mysteries documentary series. Well, you'll be happy to know that Kayla has been found alive and well last week, in North Carolina, after being allegedly kidnapped by her mother six years ago.

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Kayla turned 15 in January, six years after she went missing while her mother was supposedly looking after her. Then 9-year-old Kayla went missing on July 4, 2017, after going to a Fourth of July parade in Illinois, which she attended with her mother, Heather.

Kayla was found alive six years after going missing

According to NBC Chicago, a police spokesperson said a woman had called the police from a shop called Plato's Closet in Asheville, North Carolina, after she recognized the girl from 'published media' that had circulated on her disappearance.

Kayla's father, Ryan Iskerka, published a statement on Monday, May 15, through the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

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.

One can only imagine how much Kayla has changed since her father last saw her, and he expressed they are both trying to get to know the new people they have become in the last six years.

We ask for privacy as we get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning.

Read more:‘Eaten by wolves’: Parents arrested after 6-year-old daughter’s chilling revelations to teacher

Heather Unbehaun was arrested for suspected kidnapping

Kayla's mother, Heather, was arrested on Saturday, May 13 in North Carolina, on a fugitive charge, as NBC News reports. She is expected to be extradited back to Illinois soon, where she will face charges of kidnapping.

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Heather Unbehaun was the noncustodial parent, and she was supposed to return Kayla to her father, Ryan, on July 5, 2017 when she vanished, along with her daughter. She was last seen packing baggages on the roof of her car, as some family members say she was going on a camping trip to an unknown location in Wisconsin before she was supposed to meet with Kayla's dad.

When Kayla and her mother failed to show up for the meeting with Ryan, he went to the police and filed a missing person's report for his daughter. A few weeks later, police issued an arrest warrant for Heather Unbehaun, as she was accused of kidnapping. The case of Kayla's disappearance was part of an episode of Netflix's true crime documentary Unsolved Mysteries, which focused on alleged family abductions and aired in November 2022.

Read more:Serial killer cop reportedly murdered teenage girl who went missing nearly 50 years ago

Sources used:

NBC News: Illinois girl whose disappearance was on Netflix's 'Unsolved Mysteries' is found alive in North Carolina

NBC Chicago: Missing South Elgin Girl Who Was Featured in Netflix Series Found in North Carolina, Police Say

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