The family of a U.S. woman who the Islamic State says was killed in northern Syria by an airstrike said in a written statement to the leaders of the extremist group that they are concerned about the possibility of their daughter’s death but were hopeful she was still alive.
Twenty-six year old Kayla Mueller, whose identity previous to now was not revealed at the request of her family and the U.S. government while they worked to secure her release, is believed to be the last American held hostage by the terrorist organization since the beheading of aid work Peter Kassig in November.
ISIS in its prepared statement claimed that Mueller was killed by the airstrike, but that no one else was including its fighters were killed or injured.
On Friday, IS said Mueller, who is from Prescott, Arizona, died in an airstrike, carried out by Jordan, but Jordan’s government dismissed that statement as just criminal propaganda. The U.S. said there was no evidence of any kind to corroborate the IS claim.
If her death is indeed confirmed, Mueller would be the fourth U.S. citizen killed while in being held hostage by IS militants.
The three other Americans killed were all beheaded by the extremist group.
Mueller’s parents in their prepared statement said that the IS told them they were treating Kayla like a guest and as a guest her well-being and safety is your responsibility.
Mueller was an aid worker who previously has volunteered with groups in Israel, India and the Palestinian territories. Mueller’s identity was not disclosed until this point due to fearing for her safety. Mueller’s family said she was abducted by the IS on August 4, 2013 when she left a hospital in Syria.
Jordan has launched airstrikes against IS in response to the video that was released showing the captive pilot from Jordan being burned alive while held in a cage.
The statement on Friday from IS said that Mueller had been killed in the stronghold of the group in the city of Raqaa in the northern region of Syria during Muslim prayer, which are usually at midday, in strikes that targeted the same location for over an hour.