ISIS hostage and hope among Arizona family, politicians

Photo- MSNBC : Family photo : MGN Cropped Photo- Todd Morris : Flickr : MGNCarl Mueller waited in the lobby of the Prescott radio station. Then-Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who was raised in the area, was guest-hosting a talk radio show. When Bennett left the studio and walked into the lobby, Mueller introduced himself. He asked if the two could speak outside, in private.

In the parking lot, Mueller told Bennett that his daughter, Kayla, did humanitarian work in the Middle East and that a few days prior, she had been kidnapped by terrorists. As Bennett recalled Sunday, Mueller asked whether Bennett, one of Prescott’s most visible politicians, could help.

It was August 2013, 18 months before the rest of the world would know that Kayla Mueller was in the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. This encounter, emblematic of the close-knit life of Prescott, would put Mueller in contact with federal officials who would keep him updated and work toward his daughter’s release.


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February 2015