A little girl was just nine years old when she went missing back in 2017. The little girl was named Kayla Unbehaun and was under the care of her mother, Heather Unbehaun when she suddenly and mysteriously went missing. Since her disappearance, the girl has appeared on Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries series. Now, the girl, who has since turned fifteen years old, was recently found alive in North Carolina after she had been missing for six years and several months.
Now, the girl’s mother has been arrested. The 40-year-old matriarch was arrested on a fugitive charge, according to the arrest report. Police came upon her on Saturday in Asheville, North Carolina, and arrested her following the discovery of young Kayla.
The mother was released from jail on Tuesday after she posted bond, according to a court clerk familiar with the case. She is due to reappear in court on July 11, 2023, so she can face the charges against her.
Kayla was finally rescued after a woman recognized the girl during a shopping trip at Plato’s Closet in Asheville. The Good Samaritan recognized the missing girl from images she had seen in “published media” about the case. The Good Samaritan immediately contacted the authorities to let them know that the missing girl had been found.
On Monday, Kayla’s biological father, Ryan Iskerka, released a statement about the discovery of his missing daughter through authorities at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Ryan’s statement was as follows:
“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.
“We ask for privacy as we get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning,” the dedicated father of the once-missing girl said.
Back around July 4, 2017, when Donald Trump was in his first year as president, Kayla suddenly disappeared. She had been in the care of her mother, Heather Unbehaun, following a Fourth of July parade in Wheaton, Illinois, according to details provided on a GoFundMe page related to locating the missing girl. The fundraising page was created by the girl’s father in the days following Kayla’s shocking disappearance.
Unbehaun was the noncustodial parent. Many kidnapping cases involve a noncustodial parent who wants to obtain custody of the child by illegally swiping them away from the parent who has custody legally.
Iskerka was scheduled to pick up his daughter on July 5, 2017. However, the girl’s mother and the child never appeared for the drop-off, even though the exchange had been ordered by a court. Because the girl and her mother never showed up for the exchange, Iskerka reported Kayla missing and filed a missing person’s report so he could work with the police to find his daughter.
Kayla’s case was featured on the Netflix series “Unsolved Mysteries” in November 2022.