Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Kayla Mueller | parents | Arizona

Parents of US Aid Worker Kidnapped by ISIS 'Near Wit's End'

By    |   Monday, 09 Feb 2015 04:32 PM

The heartsick parents of a humanitarian worker kidnapped by the Islamic State group in August 2013 – and reported killed in a Jordanian bombing raid – are "near wit's end," yet clinging to hope she may still be alive, a family spokesman said.

Todd Geiler said waiting for word of 26-year-old Kayla Mueller's fate is excruciating for her parents, who live in Prescott, Arizona, The Arizona Republic reports.

"To say they are weary, to say they are heartbroken, to say they are at their near-wit's end, is an understatement," Geiler told the newspaper. "Anybody that sits down at a breakfast table today and looks at their kids across that table, put yourself in their shoes."

The jihadist militants said Friday Mueller died in a Jordanian airstrike though the government of Jordan dismissed the information as propaganda.

U.S. officials say they haven't seen any evidence to corroborate the report.

The Arizona Republic reports the woman's father, Carl Mueller, had reached out to then-Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who lives in the area, a few days after his daughter's abduction on Aug. 4, 2013.

"They're still hopeful that by some miracle she might still be alive and returned," Bennett said. "They haven't given up hope, and I don't think we should either."

He told the newspaper the day Carl Mueller told him of his daughter's disappearance "hit me like a ton of bricks."

"Just to see the anguish and the pain in his face that first day was just overwhelming," he said, telling the Republic he called both Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, whose district includes Prescott, and Republican Sen. John McCain.

"I heard back from Carl over the next few days that they had in fact been in touch and were being very helpful," Bennett told the Republic.

Every few months, Bennett said Mueller would update him – one time even speaking of a rescue.

"In one of the conversations, Carl mentioned there might be some Department of Defense resources in the region at the time that might allow for a rescue attempt," Bennett told the Republic.

Bennett added he didn't hear anything more about any such attempt.

Geiler said the parents at this point are in a very "fragile state."

"The strain of not knowing where their daughter is at and whether or not she is alive or not is something that is starting to wear on them," Geiler said.

"This thing, it's time to have an ending. It's time to bring Kayla home to her parents and her family."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The heartsick parents of a humanitarian worker kidnapped by the Islamic State group in August 2013 – and reported killed in a Jordanian bombing raid – are "near wit's end," yet clinging to hope she may still be alive, a family spokesman said.
Kayla Mueller, parents, Arizona
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2015-32-09
Monday, 09 Feb 2015 04:32 PM
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