Family of ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller Release Letter She Sent From Captivity

Letter
Meuller asks the family not to negotiate on her behalf. For Kayla Organization

Today, the family of Islamic State (ISIS) hostage Kayla Mueller confirmed her death. Mueller's family did not publicly comment on the details of the confirmation. National Security Council Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said the family received "a private message from Kayla's [ISIS] captors containing additional information." The information was later reviewed by United States intelligence.

While the government has not formally commented on the form of information the family received, anonymous government officials told the Daily Beast a photograph of Mueller was reviewed, in which her face and shoulders are visible. ISIS first claimed Mueller had died last Friday as the result of a Jordanian airstrike. The terrorist organization distributed photographs of a building they said held Mueller. In the photos, the building is in rubble, however, the photograph of Mueller reportedly seen by government officials did not picture any rubble. The cause of her death remains unknown.

Mueller spent over a year in captivity; she was captured in Aleppo, Syria in 2013. During that time, her family received a video of her, forcibly filmed by her captors, as proof of life. They also received a letter, made public today after the announcement of her death, a transcribed version is reprinted below.

Mueller Letter
A transcription of a letter from Meuller that was received by her family For Kayla Organization

The letter was carried out of captivity by a fellow hostage who was released on or after November 11, 2014. She asks the family not to negotiate on her behalf, "If there is any other option take it, even if it takes more time," she writes. Mueller also urges her family to contact "these women" and "seek their advice," their names were redacted. Based on the context of the letter, they may have been fellow captives.

In the message, she offers a rare glimpse into life as a female captive with ISIS. She said she was not mistreated and had "put on weight in fact." In an interview, Didier François, a French reporter who was held hostage by ISIS in the same building as Mueller, said women were given slightly more room to move around in. However, "being a woman doesn't make it easier," he said of ISIS captivity.