Kayla Unbehaun, now 15, was found alive in Asheville, N.C., on Saturday, after a shop owner recognized her from an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries”
An Illinois father and daughter who were reunited six years after the girl was allegedly abducted by her non-custodial mother have a “long journey of healing” ahead of them, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Kayla Unbehaun, now 15, was found alive in Asheville, N.C., on Saturday, after a shop owner recognized her from an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” and called 911.

Kayla was 9 years old when she was first reported missing from South Elgin, Ill., on July 5, 2017, after she never returned from a Fourth of July parade with her mom, Heather Unbehaun, PEOPLE previously reported.

Although Kayla’s dad, Ryan Iskerka, is “overjoyed” for their father-daughter reunion, this type of case is “probably the most complicated, especially when it comes to the emotional side of what’s been going on,” NCMEC spokeswoman Rebecca Steinbach tells PEOPLE.

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“One can assume it’s complicated because your parent is still your parent,” Steinbach says of the emotions Kayla might be feeling. “But she’s 15 years old now, and so she’s a teenager, and it has to be very jarring. It has to be very confusing, and I’m sure she doesn’t want to see any parent hurt.”

Unbehaun, 40, appeared in a Kane County, Ill., court Thursday on a charge of child abduction. She was released on $10,000 bond and ordered to wear a GPS tracking monitor, according to WLS-TV.

It’s unclear if she entered a plea or retained an attorney to comment on her behalf.

“It feels so surreal still, but I think that the family unit is coming together to just pull on every single resource and support that they can,” says Steinbach, “and they’re taking it day by day.”

In the meantime, Iserka has asked for privacy as he and Kayla get to know each other again.

“I’m overjoyed that Kayla is home safe,” Iserka said in a statement shared by NCMEC. “I want to thank [the Elgin, Ill., police and fire departments], the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and all of the law enforcement agencies who assisted with her case. We ask for privacy as we get to know each other again and navigate this new beginning.”
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