American aid worker and ISIS hostage, Kayla Mueller, has been confirmed dead by the White House, ABC News reports. The rumors of her death had been circulating, but, until today, the White House had reported that it did not have evidence to confirm her death.
The 26 year old, Prescott, Arizona native had been working in Syria in a Spanish Doctors Without Borders aid station. She had disappeared on August 4, 2013 from the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria.
A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said that, over the weekend, Kayla’s family had, “received a private message from Kayla’s ISIL [ISIS] captors containing additional information.” The information was authenticated by the US intelligence community and was determined to be authentic, thus leading American officials to, “determine that Kayla was deceased.”
The “information” provided by ISIS included photographic evidence, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.
An intelligence official told ABC News it is unclear when or how Mueller was killed.
While ISIS claimed that Mueller had become a casualty of the retaliatory airstrikes launched last week by Jordan, American officials rushed to announce that no evidence to prove this had been forthcoming.
Mueller’s family released a letter from her that appeared to have been written in the Spring of 2014, while she was in captivity. In the letter, Mueller reported that she was “healthy” and treated with the “utmost respect + kindness.”
It was unclear as to how the letter had been delivered or received by her family. She expressed remorse that her family had become involved in the negotiation process and expressed that they should not feel responsible for attempting to negotiate her release, saying it “… should never have become your burden.”
In the letter, Mueller’s strength of character shone forth and she also wrote that, “I am also fighting from my side in the ways I am able + I have a lot of fight left inside of me. I am not breaking down + I will not give in no matter how long it takes.”
Mueller graduated from high school in Arizona in 2007 and worked in India and Israel in 2010. She left France in December 2012 to work on the Turkey-Syrian border aiding Syrian refugees.
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