On that horrible night in Salt Lake City when Smart was abducted, her sister, Mary Katherine, pretended to sleep when a strange man wandered into their shared bedroom. Mary could not do anything. The man wielded a knife and threatened Elizabeth with it. Mary had no choice but to watch in horror as the man guided Elizabeth out of the house and into the street. It would become the worst situation the Smart family could ever imagine.
Later, Mary Katherine was able to identify the man. He was not so strange after all. He had done some odd jobs for the family on the property. And soon his identity was made clear. He was Brian David Mitchell.
After Mitchell took Elizabeth from her bed at knifepoint, he kept it at her back while he urged her forward into the mountains. That was where Mitchell had established a campsite with his wife, Wanda Eileen Barzee.
For nine months, Mitchell abused the teenage Smart. He relentlessly came at her with horrible desires, all while his wife Barzee urged on his violent tendencies. Smart could only grit her teeth and look for a way to escape. She vowed to survive, and would not give into the horrors.
Smart’s case quickly became a national issue. To think that a teenage girl had been taken out of her bedroom to be used by a man living in a camp was unthinkable. She must be found, and she was featured on America’s Most Wanted.
Once her case made the show, it was only a matter of time before America united to put a stop to Mitchell’s crimes.
A biker recognized Mitchell’s mug. And before long, investigators were able to get to the bottom of the kidnapping. And Elizabeth was saved.
Now Elizabeth Smart wants other parents to know a few things to help keep their children safe. It’s been sixteen years since the crime occurred, and Elizabeth has done her best to get on with her life. She’s a role model for us all.
Smart has found true love and become a mother of two. Mitchell and his crimes did not keep her down for long.
Smart now works as a child-safety advocate. She contributes to ABC News on occasion and now used her nightmarish experience as a tool to keep other children safer.