Missing 9-Year-Old Girl Featured On ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ Has Been Found

Note: we are republishing this story which originally made the news in May 2023.

In a surprising turn of events, the woman accused of abducting her daughter from an Illinois suburb six years ago has turned herself in, bringing a dramatic end to a case that captured national attention. Heather Unbehaun, the mother of 15-year-old Kayla Unbehaun, is now in custody at the Kane County Adult Justice Center in Illinois, facing abduction charges without the option of bail.


This unexpected development comes just days after Kayla was found safe in North Carolina and reunited with her custodial father. Unbehaun’s arrest on Saturday in North Carolina, where she was located, was carried out on a fugitive warrant from Illinois, specifically on charges of kidnapping and child abduction. Despite initially being held on a substantial $250,000 bond, Unbehaun was later released after posting bail on Tuesday morning, as confirmed by Asheville Police Department spokesperson Samantha Booth.


Photo Credit: ABC 7 Chicago/Youtube

The case dates back to July 4, 2017, when Kayla, then 9 years old, was reportedly abducted by Unbehaun after attending a parade in South Elgin, a Chicago suburb. The situation took a dark turn when, following the parade, Unbehaun informed Kayla’s custodial father, Ryan Iserka, that they were going on a camping trip. Unfortunately, neither Unbehaun nor Kayla returned, leading to a felony warrant for Unbehaun’s arrest on kidnapping charges.


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