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An Allegedly Abducted Girl Was Finally Found After Her Story Was Featured In A Crime Show

She’d been missing for six years when a shop owner recognized her from the series.

There have been many instances where the true crime community has had a hand in solving missing persons cases—the devastating Gabby Petito case being one of them—and it’s happened again.

A father of a missing child in Illinois, US, is finally having his daughter returned to him after she was allegedly abducted six years ago, aged nine.

Her name is Kayla Unebehaun, and the now-teen is alleged to have been taken by her mother (who did not have custody of the child), according to the National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children in the US.

She was discovered safe in North Carolina on Tuesday, 16 May 2023, and is now 15 years old.

According to People, Kayla’s mother Heather took her on a camping trip in 2017, from which they never returned.

(Credit: Image: Unsolved Mysteries)

When Kayla’s dad realised that Heather’s social media and phone had been turned off, he worried whether he’d ever see her again.

Years later, Kayla’s age-projected image was shown during series 3, episode 9 of Unsolved Mysteries, in an episode called ‘Abducted By A Parent’.

Consequently, Kayla was recognised by a store owner in Asheville, North Carolina, who reported the sighting to Police. Her mother Heather was apprehended and arrested to face charges of child abduction, according to WGN-TV, Chicago.

Upon finding the child, Kayla was put in the care of social services and has since been reunited with her dad, according to Asheville Police Department’s Samantha Booth.

It’s not the first time that the series Unsolved Mysteries has helped to detangle confusing webs or solve missing persons cases. In fact, the show’s creator Terry Meurer told TheWrap that in the 23 years it’s been running, the series has helped solve more than 260 cases by shining a light on the evidence at hand and casting a wider net.

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