ISIS confirmed Kayla Mueller, 26, died after Jordanian airstrikes against the militant group targeted the building in Syria where she was being held. National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the Mueller family received “additional information” over the weekend from the Islamic State that confirmed Kayla Mueller had died. The intelligence community authenticated that information, Meehan said.
The aid worker from Prescott, Ariz., was captured Aug. 4, 2013, as she left a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.
In a letter to her family in Spring 2014, while still in detention, Mueller wrote she was in “a safe location completely unharmed + healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness.”
In her letter, Kayla also wrote: “I remember mom always telling me that all in all in the end the only one you really have is God. I have come to a place in this experience where, in every sense of the word, I have surrendered myself to our creator. … I have learned that even in prison, one can be free.”
President Obama, in a statement, said Mueller “represents what is best about America…”
The Mueller family statement has more information about her: “Since graduating from Northern Arizona University in 2009 after only two and a half years, Kayla devoted her career to helping those in need in countries around the world. The suffering of the Syrian refugees drew Kayla to the Turkish/Syrian border in December, 2012, to work with Support to Life, the Danish Refugee Council and other humanitarian organizations to assist families who had been forced to flee their homes. Kayla found this work heartbreaking but compelling; she was extremely devoted to the people of Syria.
“From her college graduation through 2011, she lived and worked with humanitarian aid groups in northern India, Israel and Palestine. She returned home to Arizona in 2011, and worked for one year at an HIV/AIDS clinic while volunteering at a women’s shelter at night.
“Prior to her work in Syria, in December 2011, Kayla worked as an au pair in France to hone her fluency in French in preparation for her work in Africa.
“The common thread of Kayla’s life has been her quiet leadership and strong desire to serve others.”