Missing girl found after 6 years thanks to Netflix series, mother charged with abduction

A shop owner recognised Kayla Unbehaun while she was shopping and alerted the local authorities

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Photo: Gofundeme page
Photo: Gofundeme page

Published: Thu 18 May 2023, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Thu 18 May 2023, 9:31 AM

A 9-year-old girl whose disappearance was documented on Netflix's 'Unsolved Mysteries' was found alive last week, six years after her mother allegedly abducted her.

A local shopkeeper recognised Kayla Unbehaun, who turned 15 in January and was nine years old when she was abducted by her mother, Heather Unbehaun, during a parental visit in Wheaton.


According to authorities, Heather was arrested on a fugitive charge in Asheville, North Carolina. She is expected to be extradited to Illinois.

A woman shopkeeper recognised Kayla from "published media" about the case and contacted the local authorities, according to NBC News.


Kayla's disappearance was one of several cases involving alleged family abduction featured on an episode of the Netflix series "Unsolved Mysteries" in November 2022.

The teenager went missing around July 4, 2017, after being seen in her mother's custody following a Fourth of July parade in Illinois, as stated on a GoFundMe page established by her father, Ryan Iskerka, shortly after her disappearance.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) confirmed that Heather was a noncustodial parent. Her father was scheduled to meet Heather on July 5, 2017, to collect Kayla. However, they never arrived at the designated meeting point.

Based on police reports, Heather was last observed loading her belongings onto her car. Family members stated that she had planned a camping trip to an undisclosed location and was anticipated to return for the scheduled meeting with Ryan, as mentioned on the GoFundMe page created by him.

When the mother and daughter did not appear, the police were notified, and a missing person's report was filed for Kayla

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