A missing girl was found in Asheville, North Carolina over the weekend after she was recognized from a Netflix true crime show.
On Saturday, Kayla Unbehaun, 15, was seen at a shop in Asheville by someone who recognized her from an episode of Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries”, the Asheville Police Department told CNN. That person notified a store employee, who then called the police.
Kayla Unbehaun was abducted by her mother, Heather Unbehaun from South Elgin, Illinois on July 5, 2017, when she was 9 years old, according to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The two were meant to meet up with her father, Ryan Iskerka, for a planned custody exchange, but Unbehaun never arrived.
Photos of Kayla and her mother were shown in a 2022 episode of “Unsolved Mysteries,” which focuses on unsolved true crime cases, disappearances, and paranormal encounters. While Kayla’s story was not the main focus of the episode, she was featured as part of a list of victims of parental abduction included at the end of the episode.
“Media is so important when it comes to the recovery of missing children,” Callahan Walsh, an advocate at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children said in an interview with ABC 7 Chicago. “Even in these long-term cases, the more we tell the stories of these missing children and put their images out in the public, the more likely they are going to be recovered.
Unbehaun was arrested Saturday in Asheville and charged with child abduction, a felony, before being released on bond, according to USA Today.
“I’m overjoyed that Kayla is home safe,” Iskerka said in a statement issued by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “We ask for privacy as we get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning.”
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