This is no “Netflix and Chill” scenario.
Kayla Unbehaun, 15, went missing in Illinois in 2017 at the age of 9. At the time, her father, Ryan Iserka, was the child’s court-appointed legal guardian. He allowed his daughter to spend some time with her mother, Heather Unbehaun, but when neither showed up for the scheduled drop-off, Iserka contacted authorities.
Kayla’s case was featured on one of Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries” episodes about parental abductions. On Saturday (May 13), a customer at Plato’s Closet in Asheville, North Carolina recognized the teen from one of the episodes. The shopper informed a store employee, who alerted local police. Who said binge-watching can’t be beneficial?
An Unsolved Mysteries viewer has closed a case!
A store owner in North Carolina recognized Kayla Unbehaun — who was abducted in 2017 by her non-custodial mother — from the roll call in Volume 3, Episode 9. Kayla, now 15, is expected to return to her family in Illinois. pic.twitter.com/q8mTegq6xN
— Netflix (@netflix) May 16, 2023
On July 28, 2017, a felony warrant for kidnapping was issued for Heather. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who assists families in finding American kids abducted by relatives or strangers, or who have run away, said in 2022 alone, there were approximately 360,000 reports of missing children filed. Yesterday (May 16), Samantha Booth of the Asheville Police Department told CNN Kayla has been reunited with her father.
Heather was taken into custody on Saturday evening after the attentive Netflix viewer’s discovery. Although specific charges were not made public, a local official told CNN that the teen’s mother was held on a $250,000 bond and awaiting extradition to Buncombe County, North Carolina. She made bond yesterday morning and is scheduled to appear in court on July 11. Iserka is beyond grateful for his child’s safe return, but requested that the public give the family space. “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,” he said.
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