Family of American Hostage Kayla Mueller: Bergdahl Swap Greatly Diminished Chances of Her Release

Posted: Feb 23, 2015 2:10 PM

The family of American hostage Kayla Mueller, who was killed while in ISIS custody two weeks ago, is speaking out about her death. 

In an interview with NBC News, Carl, Marsha and Eric Mueller told Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie that President Obama's decision to swap alleged deserter and Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five top Taliban commanders had an extremely negative impact on the chances of getting Kayla released. They explained that until Bergdahl was exchanged, they were in regular communication with their daughter. Things went south after Bergdahl's release. 

"That's when the demands got greater. They got larger. They realized that they had something. They realized that, ‘Well, if they're gonna let five people go for one person, why won't they do this? Or why won't they do that?’” Kayla's brother Eric said.

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Carl Mueller, Kayla's father, asked President Obama about the Bergdahl swap during a meeting at the White House.

"We really feel like they [ISIS] wanted to release Kayla," Carl Mueller, Kayla's father said, adding that paying a $6.2 million ransom became an impossible task.

Yesterday, friends of Kayla held a press conference in Prescott, Arizona to remember her.