...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Mother Charged with Abducting Daughter in 2017 Released on Bond
Heather Unbehaun, 40, who was charged with abducting her daughter from her father’s care in 2017, has been released after posting a $250,000 bond.
This development comes ahead of her upcoming court appearance in Buncombe County, scheduled for July 11.
The reunion between Unbehaun and her daughter Kayla, 15, occurred after a store owner in North Carolina recognized Kayla from her story featured on Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries.
The Unusual Case of Kayla’s Abduction
The abduction of Kayla, who was taken by Unbehaun when she was just nine years old, has been described by the police as an unusual case.
Unlike typical situations, there were no technological breadcrumbs that could aid in tracking the missing child.
Lieutenant Jonathan Brown of the Asheville Police highlighted the extraordinary aspect of the case, stating that staying off the grid for such an extended period of time is highly uncommon.
Reunion and Father’s Statement
Kayla was discovered safe in North Carolina over the weekend and was subsequently reunited with her father, Ryan Iskerka.
He drove her back to their home state from North Carolina.
Iskerka, who had full custody at the time of the abduction, expressed his joy at Kayla’s safe return and thanked the various law enforcement agencies and organizations involved in the case.
As they embark on a new chapter together, Iskerka requested privacy to allow them to reconnect.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Involvement
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) had issued a felony warrant for Unbehaun’s arrest in July 2017, classifying the case as a kidnapping.
The episode ‘Abducted by a Parent’ in Netflix’s Unsolved Mysteries series shed light on parental abductions and included Kayla’s story.
Over the years, the NCMEC shared alerts and age-progression photos of Kayla to aid in her recovery.
A Remarkable Reunion in Another Abduction Case
The recent reunion of Melissa Highsmith, a Texan woman who was abducted as a toddler 51 years ago, underscores the power of DNA testing in resolving long-standing missing person cases.
Melissa, who was taken from her parents’ home in 1971, was miraculously reunited with her biological family last year after a DNA test confirmed her identity.
This heartwarming story serves as a reminder of the potential for closure and reunification even after many years.