U.S. officials and family members of Kayla Mueller, a 26-year-old American aid worker taken captive by the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Syria in 2013, confirmed Tuesday that she has died. But government officials conceded they may never know when and how she died.
“We are heartbroken to share that we’ve received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller has lost her life,” Mueller’s parents said in a statement. “Kayla was a compassionate and devoted humanitarian. She dedicated the whole of her young life to helping those in need of freedom, justice, and peace.”
American officials tell The Daily Beast that there is still no evidence to support the terrorist group’s claims that she was killed in a Jordanian airstrike last week. And Pentagon officials have no plans to investigate those claims.
Despite questions swirling around the circumstances behind her death, U.S. Central Command, which is leading the U.S. effort against ISIS, will not investigate whether Mueller died from a coalition airstrike, as the terror group alleges. With that, there may be no clear understanding of how and when she died. The United States investigates claims of civilian casualties only when they come from “credible sources,” which ISIS is not, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Tuesday afternoon. Read more here.