A Shop Owner’s Netflix Discovery Leads to the Reunion of a Abducted Girl After Six Years
A young girl who was abducted six years ago has been discovered thanks to the astute observation of a shop owner who recognized her from a true crime documentary on Netflix. The heartwarming reunion occurred when the shop owner promptly contacted the police after realizing the girl’s identity.
Back in 2017, nine-year-old Kayla Unbehaun was unlawfully taken from her father’s care by her non-custodial mother, Heather Unbehaun, in South Elgin, Illinois. It wasn’t until recently, when Kayla, now fifteen years old, was spotted at a shopping center in Asheville, North Carolina, that her long ordeal finally came to an end.
The crucial breakthrough came about when the observant shop owner saw an episode of the popular Netflix series Unsolved Mysteries, which showcased cases of parental abductions. The episode featured Kayla, prompting the shop owner to immediately take action.
At the time of the abduction, Heather Unbehaun only had visitation rights, making her actions illegal. She has since been charged with child abduction by the Kane County State’s Attorney in Illinois and is awaiting extradition from North Carolina. Her bond has been set at $250,000 (£200,200).
The Unsolved Mysteries episode titled ‘Abducted by a Parent’ aired as part of the third series and included a segment featuring missing children, among them Kayla. The show displayed photographs of the kidnapped children alongside pictures of the suspected abducting parents.
Upon learning of his daughter’s recovery, Ryan Iskerka, Kayla’s father, expressed overwhelming joy and gratitude. In a statement released through The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Iskerka thanked the City of Elgin, Illinois Police and Fire Departments, along with other law enforcement agencies involved in the case. He also appealed for privacy during this delicate period as they rebuild their relationship.
Throughout the years, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children had tirelessly worked to locate Kayla, disseminating alerts and sharing age-progression photographs of her. Now, they can rejoice in the successful reunion.
Kayla is currently under protective custody, and authorities are ensuring her safety. Lieutenant Diana Loveland of the Asheville Police Department commended the shop owner’s courage to come forward with her suspicions, emphasizing the importance of such vigilant citizens in solving cases, regardless of how long they have remained unresolved.
The heartwarming tale of Kayla’s rescue serves as a testament to the power of media exposure and the unwavering dedication of organizations working to locate missing children. The reunion marks a new beginning for Kayla and her father, who eagerly await the chance to reconnect and rebuild their lives together.