An Illinois child who was abducted by her own mother six years ago has been located by a North Carolina store owner who recognised her from a Netflix show. Kayla Unbehaun, who was nine years old when abducted on July 4th 2017, disappeared after visiting her mother, Heather Unbehaun.
Heather Unbehaun had visitation rights but not full custody of her daughter. Consequently, Kayla’s father, who had full custody, travelled to collect her from her mother’s house in Wheaton, Illinois, to find both were missing.
The mysterious case was featured in ‘Abducted by a Parent’ an episode of Netflix’s ongoing series Unsolved Mysteries. In April, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) released an age-progression photo to estimate how Kayla would look now at 15.
Now, nearly six years after the abduction, Kayla has appeared in North Carolina, over 600 miles from her home in Illinois. The anonymous store owner alerted the local authorities, who found Kayla and took her into protective custody.
Meanwhile, according to the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, Heather Unbehaun was arrested and charged with one count of child abduction. She is being detained on a $250,000 bond with further charges possible.
“I’m overjoyed that Kayla is home safe. I want to thank the South Elgin Police Department, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and all of the law enforcement agencies who assisted with her case,” Kayla’s father announced via the NCMEC.