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Girl found safe 6 years after being abducted in South Elgin at age 9

Kayla Unbehaun found safe six years after going missing
Kayla Unbehaun found safe six years after going missing 00:30

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A now-15-year-old girl has been located, nearly six years after being kidnapped by her non-custodial mother in South Elgin.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported Kayla Unbehaun was found safe in North Carolina.

Kayla Unbehaun National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Kayla was 9 when she was kidnapped from South Elgin by her non-custodial mother, Heather Unbehaun, in 2017, the NMCEC noted.

Kayla's father, Ryan Iskerka, talked with CBS 2 in 2019.

"Her arrangement was to have every other weekend with my daughter," Iskerka said at the time. "She had her that weekend before Fourth of July and Fourth of July, I think, fell on a Tuesday. And that was also her holiday, so I just told her, 'Why don't we take an extended, you know, keep her Monday through Tuesday, and I'll just pick her up Wednesday?'"

When he arrived on July 5, 2017, to pick Kayla up, he was told by Unbehaun's family that neither of them returned from a camping trip.

Heather Unbehaun, 40, has been arrested and booked.

With Kayla now found, Iskerka issued this statement: "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. I also want to thank all of the followers on the "Bring Kayla Home" Facebook page, who helped keep her story alive and were instrumental in spreading awareness. We ask for privacy as we get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning."

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