The Parents of Prescott aid worker Kayla Mueller say they remained optimistic that their daughter would be set free, and that she would eventually come home safe. In an interview with NBC’s Today Show, Kayla’s father, Carl Mueller, says despite the brutal violence used to end the lives of other ISIS hostages, he remained hopeful about his daughter’s fate during the time she was held prisoner.

“I really feel that we had a chance to get Kayla out, because we were in communication with them, unlike other families. But how do you raise 6.2 million dollars?” Kayla’s death in Syria was confirmed earlier this month. ISIS claimed she died when the area where she was being held was targeted in a Jordanian airstrike. Despite the Obama administration’s insistence that it won’t negotiate with terrorists, last year’s release of Army soldier Bo Bergdahl from Taliban custody in exchange for the release of five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay is tough for the Mueller’s to accept. “I actually asked the President that question when we were at the White House”, says Kayla’s Dad. “That was pretty hard to take”. To help ease the pain of the loss of their daughter, the Mueller’s are starting a charity called “Kayla’s Hands”, aimed at continuing the humanitarian efforts that led her to Syria two years ago.
–Jeff Scott