President Barack Obama confirmed on Tuesday that American ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller was killed, days after the group claimed she was killed in a Jordanian airstrike.
ISIS had said in a statement on Friday that Mueller was killed, but there was no evidence of her death, which led to doubts of the claim. A White House spokesperson said that over the weekend, the Mueller family received a message from Kayla’s captors with new information, which was authenticated, according to ABC News.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Barack Obama” author_title=”President of the United States”]
On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I convey our deepest condolences to Kayla’s family — her parents, Marsha and Carl, and her brother Eric and his family — and all of those who loved Kayla dearly. At this time of unimaginable suffering, the country shares in their grief.
Mueller was kidnapped on August 4, 2013 after she left a Spanish Doctors Without Borders hospital in Syria, Fox News reported. Mueller’s family said ISIS contacted them in May with proof that she was alive, eventually saying she would be killed if her family did not pay almost $7 million by August 13, 2014. What happened after the deadline passed is still unclear.
On Tuesday, Mueller’s relatives received a handwritten note they say she wrote in captivity in spring 2014, according to CNN. “It’s hard to know what to say,” the letter read. “Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed and healthy (put on weight in fact); I have been treated with the utmost respect and kindness.”
Mueller was originally from Prescott, Arizona. She graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2009 and chose to devote herself to caring for people in need around the world. Mueller told her town’s local newspaper that she felt called to help those caught in the Syrian conflict.