For six years, loved ones — with the public’s help — searched for Kayla Anbehan after she was allegedly abducted by her non-custodial mother in Illinois.
Now 15, he was found safe — 600 miles away in North Carolina — and has now been reunited with his father in Illinois, Samantha Booth of the Asheville Police Department told CNN on Tuesday.
Kayla was 9 years old when she was abducted by her non-custodial mother, Heather Anbehan, from the Chicago suburb of South Elgin, Illinois, home to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. said.
Kayla’s father, Ryan Iserka, won full custody of her in early 2017 by allowing Anbehan supervised visits, he said. CNN affiliate WBBM. But when Iserka went to pick up her daughter on July 5, she learned the couple hadn’t returned from a camping trip, WBBM reported the following year.
Anbehoun was issued a felony warrant for kidnapping on July 28, 2017. According to For the nonprofit center, it helps families search for American children who have been taken in by relatives or strangers or run away. In 2022, nearly 360,000 reports of missing children were made to the FBI. It saidIndicates that duplication is possible.
Later Saturday evening, Kayla was spotted at a store in Asheville by someone she recognized from an episode. Netflix’s “Unsolved Mysteries” A series of parental abductions, Booth told CNN. The man notified a store employee, who then called police, Booth said.
Unbehaun was arrested Saturday and held on $250,000 bond pending extradition, Buncombe County, North Carolina, Deputy Clerk Corey Alexander told CNN on Tuesday. No specific charges were listed, and he has been given a July 11 court date, Alexander said.
He was bonded out Tuesday morning and released, Booth said.
Meanwhile, Iserka is overjoyed that her daughter is safe at home, she said in a statement through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, thanking the organization and law enforcement agencies for spreading the word about her search.
“I want to thank all the followers ‘Bring Kayla Home’ Facebook pageHe helped keep his story alive and was instrumental in spreading awareness.” he said. “We ask for privacy to get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning.”