Parents of ISIS captive Kayla Mueller believe daughter may still be alive: ‘That 1 percent chance is still there’

Kayla Mueller’s parents react to al-Baghdadi’s death

The parents of ISIS captive Kayla Mueller are hopeful their daughter is still alive, suggesting in an interview Wednesday that the terror group may have faked her death.

Kayla’s parents, Carl and Martha Mueller, told the "Today Show" that following ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death over the weekend, they were able to speak to President Trump. During their conversation, they told the president about their “1 percent chance” theory.

"I was able to tell him our 1 percent chance that Kayla's still alive and why we feel that 1 percent chance is still there," Carl told the outlet. "And he said, 'I hadn't heard that. I'll look into that Monday.'"

Kayla, 26, was a humanitarian worker from Prescott, Ariz., who was captured while leaving a hospital in Aleppo, Syria, during that nation's bloody civil war in 2013. She is believed to have been tortured and raped by Baghdadi himself until her death 18 months later.

While her death was confirmed through pictures sent by militants, Kayla’s body was never recovered.

The photos appeared to show Kayla’s lifeless body, completely covered up except for her face that showed a large gash on her cheek, the Muellers told "Today." They said they were told by others not be surprised if the photos were fake.


Carl explained: "So, the only thing they based Kayla's death on was: One, ISIS said she was dead. We got the email. Two, the three photographs. That's it, and we've had those photographs looked at by other people. They're not so sure. And they would make the hostages do those photos, those death photos.”

The Muellers described how Kayla was tortured during her short time as Baghdadi’s captive, saying she was raped many times.

“One of the Yazidi girls that escaped, she said when [Kayla] would come back from that she would go to her bed and just get under the covers and cry,” Carl said.

When Carl and Marsha learned the U.S. Special Operations mission to raid Baghdadi’s compound in Idlib, Syria, was named after Kayla, they said they cried, calling it an “amazing gift for Kayla” and all those who suffered at the hands of the terrorist.

Baghdadi was killed after he fled down a dead-end tunnel with three children – where he was found "whimpering" and trapped – and detonated a suicide vest.


Even though Carl and Martha said they felt justice has been done now that Baghdadi was killed, they hoped the ISIS leader's death will reveal more answers about what happened to their daughter.

"Until she's home, we've got to find her,” Marsha said. “We've got to find truly what did happen to her because we do not know, and we've got to get her back home here. That's what's important."

Fox News' Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.

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