Elizabeth Smart found alive and well


March 17, 2003, midnight | By Nora Toiv | 17 years, 10 months ago


Elizabeth Smart was found 15 miles away from her house after being kidnapped back in June, according to The Washington Post.

Smart was found on March 12 walking the streets with her two alleged kidnappers, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ilene Barzee. According to CNN, there have been four first degree felony charges filed against the two. They include aggravated burglary, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault on June 5, and aggravated sexual assault on dates between June 5 and August 2.

Smart's little sister Mary Katherine assisted in finding Mitchell by identifying a man who called himself Emmanuel (Mitchell used the name Emmanuel) as the possible kidnapper. Two people in Sandy, Utah called 911 to report seeing Emmanuel. Sandy police officers approached Mitchell, Smart, and Barzee and when they pulled Smart aside she denied her identity. "She was very evasive," the Post reported a Sandy police officer saying. The police officer said that Smart said her name was Augustine Mitchell and she was from Florida. After asking again if she was the girl they were looking for, Smart said, "Thou sayest it." The Bible says that this is what Jesus said to Pontius Pilate when he asked him if he was the King of the Jews.

Smart traveled with her captors to Dry Canyon, about three miles from her house, to San Diego, and then back to Salt Lake City. The Smart family was overjoyed to see Elizabeth, alive and well. "What an absolute miracle this is," said Ed Smart, Elizabeth's dad. But Smart knows that transitioning back into a normal life is going to be tough. "She is really a young woman now," he said. "She's matured."

There is a lot of speculation as to why Elizabeth did not try and escape because it seemed like she had many opportunities. The Post reported that she was at a party with over 100 people and that she made no effort to reveal her identity. Mitchell and Barzee disguised Elizabeth in a Burqa like outfit and when she was found she was wearing a wig.

According to CNN, Mitchell and Barzee repeatedly threatened her to keep her from running away. Mitchell considered Elizabeth to be one of his wives and is said to have raped her with the assistance of Barzee.

A motive has not been discovered for why Smart was kidnapped. For more information go to http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/03/18/smart.case/index.html



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