15 Years Ago: The Elizabeth Smart timeline


    15 Years Ago: The Elizabeth Smart timeline. (Photo composite: KUTV)

    (KUTV) It was on this day 15 years ago that a 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was abducted by knifepoint from her bedroom in Salt Lake City. She was found alive nine months later about five miles from her home.

    Smart, 29, is a survivor, married, a mother of two, an author, and an activist for child safety.

    This is a photo from her Facebook page visiting Portugal with her inlaws.

    This is a photo she posted on Instagram in May of her family.

    In addition to sharing updates about her family on social media, Smart also uses the platform to raise awareness about other missing children, like the one below.

    TIMELINE:

    • June 5, 2002 — Elizabeth Smart abducted from her home at age 14 by Brian David Mitchell and taken to a camp where his wife Wanda Barzee is waiting.
    • October 2002 — Mary Katherine Smart, the only witness to the abduction tells her parents she thinks the kidnapper of her sister might have been a man named “Immanuel” who worked an odd job at their home in the fall of 2001.
    • October 2002 — March 2003. Mitchell and Barzee take Smart to San Diego where they panhandle in warmer weather.
    • February 2003 — Police release sketch of “Immanuel.”
    • March 12, 2003 — Smart found alive walking down the street with Mitchell. She and Barzee are seen wearing white veils covering their faces.

    Person2Person interview with Elizabeth Smart:

    Since her abduction, she has become the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and helped to promote the National Amber Alert system and other safety legislation to prevent experiences like hers. She has also graduated from Brigham Young University after studying music as a harp performance major. She served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Paris, France in 2009 and married in 2012.

    On June 5, 2002, Smart, 14 years old at the time, was taken by force in her pajamas up to a camp a few miles away from her home in the foothills where his wife Wanda Barzee was waiting.

    Smart spent most of her time during her 9-month abduction just miles away from her childhood Federal Heights home in the mountains above Salt Lake City. For a brief time during the winter months, she was taken to California, then back to Utah where she was eventually discovered by police. On March 12, 2003, police officers discovered Smart walking down a street in Sandy with Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee.

    Ten years after her abduction, the Smart family expressed gratitude for everyone who helped aide in finding their daughter.

    She detailed what happened during her captivity in a book called "My Story."

    Smart chose to write the book to help give hope to others.

    "You never lose worth as a human being," she told Shauna Lake in a 2News interview. "I mean each one of us always has something to give. Always has something different to add to life."

    During her abduction, Smart was held captive and raped on a daily basis by her captor, Brian David Mitchell, who was later convicted of aggravated kidnapping and illegally transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes was sentenced to life in a federal prison. Barzee, Mitchell’s accomplice who pleaded guilty to the kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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