PRESCOTT, AZ – The wait is over and the news could not be worse. The family of American hostage Kayla Mueller, held for a 18 months by ISIS, has confirmed that she is dead, but they still do not know when or how she died.
The family released a statement that read:
"Our hearts are breaking for our only daughter, but we will continue on in peace, dignity, and love for her."
Last Friday, the Mueller family received a message and photos from ISIS that they shared with US intelligence analysts.
“The information that they reviewed did not allow them to arrive at a conclusion about her precise cause of death., but it did allow them to conclude that she had, in fact, died," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
The family also released a letter Kayla wrote while an ISIS prisoner last spring. She wrote about how she had put on some weight, and about the gifts from her family and friends that made her the person she was.
“I have had,” she wrote, “many long hours to think how only in your absence have I finally at 25 years old come to realize your place in my life.”
She also said she did not want to burden her family with negotiating for her release, telling them that “if there is another option, take it, even if it takes more time.”
She ended her letter with “Do not fear for me, continue to pray as Iwill, and by God’s will we will be together soon.”
President Obama called the family at their Prescott, AZ, home to offer his condolences on behalf of the American people. He is also said to be ready to ask Congress for authority to wage war on ISIS. It’s not clear if Congress will give him that authority because of the deep political divide on the idea of sending troops back into the Middle East.
The death of Kayla Mueller, however, may be the bridge that crosses that divide.