Walden woman knew Kayla Mueller, reported dead in Syria under unclear circumstances


WALDEN – Ten years ago when Kayla Mueller and Megan Masztalics were seniors in high school, they attended a leadership conference in Washington, DC. Masztalics, a native of Walden, remembers Mueller, the woman Isis maintains was killed by Jordanian bombs while being held captive in Syria.
Even a decade ago, Masztalics said she saw Mueller as someone who wanted to change the world for the better.
“I definitely, after reading everything about her, that totally makes sense, everything that she did, going abroad, helping other people; she has done more in the 10 years since I met her than a lot of people have done in their entire lives,” Masztalics said.
Knowing someone who has been held captive by terrorists made current world events that much more real to Masztalics.
“I think we all have empathy, but until you can put some memories to a name and a face, it doesn’t really become real,” she said. “Just knowing that I had known this person for even just a brief moment of my life that it is all the more real than I think I may have realized in the past.”
Mueller was kidnapped by extremists in August 2013 while she was helping
Doctors without Borders in Syria.  She was the last American held
hostage by Isis. 
There is no evidence that she has been killed.

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