In North Carolina, a 9-year-old Illinois girl who was allegedly kidnapped six years ago by her non-custodial mother has been located.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has confirmed that Kayla Unbehaun was located after a felony child abduction warrant was issued for her mother Heather back in July 2017.
I am thrilled to hear that Kayla is home safe. Her father Ryan expressed his gratitude to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the City of Elgin Police and Fire Departments for their assistance. While we are getting to know each other and navigating this new beginning, we ask for privacy.
According to WSOC, a North Carolina store owner recognized Kayla as a character from Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries” and called the cops.
Heather Unbehaun is being held in Asheville under a $250,000 bond. She was arrested on the weekend for child abduction.
Elgin Police Department did not respond to our request for comment immediately.
NEMEC reports Kayla Unbehaun was last seen on the 5th of July 2017, before she was “allegedly” abducted by her mother.
NBC Chicago reported on the same day that Ryan, Kayla’s father, had gone to Wheaton, Illinois, to pick up his daughter, but that Heather, Kayla’s mother, had already packed her bags and left with Kayla.
According to reports, Heather Unbehaun was the mother of Kayla Unbehaun. She is 40 years old.
Kayla Unbehaun is now 15 years old. NEMEC released a photo that shows her age progression over the time she was missing.
Ryan wrote a tribute to his daughter for her 15th birthday, Jan. 5. It was posted on a page on Facebook called “Bring Kayla Home”.
“I love you and miss you so much. I can’t wait for the day that I get to see you again, hoping each day I wake up and it will be the day. It could never come soon enough. I think of you every day hoping and praying that you are safe, happy and that you will come back into my life soon,” the post read. “There are so many others who love you and miss you as well.”
It said, “I hope you are old enough to realize that you have only one side of the tale.” “I also hope you remember how wonderful it was when we were all able to be together.”
“The truth is I’m still alive and love you with every beat of my heart. I love you so much that there can be no bounds to measure it by. I have loved you since before you were even alive when you were just a possibility,” the post concluded. “I’ve dreamed about being your Dada since I was a little boy. And I’ve loved you through all of this, no matter what will happen, and will continue to love you forever. I’ve never wanted anything but the best for you which I feel part of that is being in each other’s lives.”