Kayla's disappearance was featured on Netfix's Unsolved Mysteries. She's just been found alive.

Kayla Unbehaun was nine years old when she went missing on July 5, 2017.

Her mother, Heather Unbehaun, allegedly abducted her from a town with a population of just over 20,000, in South Elgin Illinois. 

In an extraordinary turn of events she's been found after her story featured on Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries.

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The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) said her mother, who only had visitation rights, had packed her and Kayla a bag and fled just a day before her father, Ryan Iskerka, tried to pick her up. 

The (then) nine-year-old's disappearance went unsolved until an employee at Plato's Closet in Asheville, North Carolina, recognised the pair from an episode of Netflix's Unsolved Mysteries which featured the mother and daughter.

The episode had been out for less than a year when the mother and daughter were recognised.

Heather has been arrested by authorities and is being held on a $225,000 bond, according to reports


The mother of Kayla Unbehaun, Heather Unbehaun. Image: Asheville Police Department.

She will be extradited to Illinois, where she will be charged with at least one count of child abduction. 

Kayla is now 15 years old and is in the custody of social services. 


Her father said in a statement that he was "overjoyed" she has been returned home safely. 

"I’m overjoyed that Kayla is home safe. I want to thank the South Elgin Police Department, the National Centre for Missing [and] Exploited Children, and all of the law enforcement agencies who assisted with her case,” he said. 

Kayla Unbehaum. Image: Asheville Police Department. 


"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."

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On the Facebook page "Bring Kayla Home", Ryan wrote a lengthy tribute to his daughter on her 15th birthday. 

"I love you and miss you so much. I can’t wait for the day that I get to see you again, hoping each day I wake up will be the day. It could never come soon enough," the post read. "I think of you every day hoping and praying that you are safe, happy and that you will come back into my life soon. There are so many others who love you and miss you as well.

"You are a young woman now with your own thoughts and opinions. I hope you are old enough to realise you only know half of the story from one point of view."

It continued, "I hope you could remember [the] truth about how things were when we were all able to be together, how good things really were."

Feature Image: Asheville Police Department/NCMEC.

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