Abducted girl featured on Netflix’s ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ reboot found safe in North Carolina

Missing 9-year-old girl featured on ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ was found.

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Kayla Unbehaun, 15, was just 9 years old when she went missing in 2017 while in the care of her non-custodial mother, Heather Unbehaun.

Kayla’s father, Ryan Iserka, told CNN affiliate WBBM that he was granted full custody of his daughter in early 2017, with Unbehaun allowed supervised visits. However, when he went to pick up his daughter on July 5, he realized that she and her mother had not returned from a camping trip, WBBM reported the following year.

Kayla Unbehaun/ National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

A non-profit center, which aids families in finding American children abducted by relatives or strangers or who run away, noted that a felony warrant for kidnapping was issued for Unbehaun on July 28, 2017. As per the organization, the number of reports of missing children filed with the FBI in 2022, with possible duplicates, was nearly 360,000.

Since Kayla went missing, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children shared an image online of her from the time she was nine as well as an age-progression photo. Every now and then, the media published articles about Kayla in hopes of finding her.

After watching a recent episode of the series, a store owner recognized Kayla and contacted the police. She and her mother were arrested, and Kayla, now 15, was taken into protective custody.

Iserka connected with his daughter in North Carolina on Sunday, and they drove back to Illinois together, said John Vojta, an attorney for Kayla’s custodial father.

“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. 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,” Kayla’s father said in a statement.

Unbehaun faces a charge of child abduction, which is a Class 4 felony. She is currently being held on a $250,000 bond and is awaiting extradition to Illinois.

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