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Six years ago, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was in the thoughts and prayers of people around the world who heard her story. Elizabeth was kidnapped at knifepoint from her bedroom in suburban Salt Lake City on June 5, 2002. Her younger sister Mary Katherine could only watch, paralyzed in fear.

For nine months, Elizabeth was held captive by her alleged kidnappers, a drifter and self-proclaimed prophet, Brian David Mitchell, and his wife, Wanda Barzee. Prosecutors say they kept Elizabeth tied to a tree just three and a half miles from her home.

Four months after her sister's disappearance, 10-year-old Mary Katherine miraculously remembered that a man once hired to work on the Smarts' house looked like the man who took Elizabeth. A sketch was released, and on March 12, 2003, Mitchell, Barzee and Elizabeth were spotted on the street in Salt Lake City. Elizabeth was rescued and returned home alive.

Mitchell and Barzee were charged with kidnapping and sexual assault but were found incompetent to stand trial. They are currently being held in a mental institution.
FROM: Elizabeth Smart, John Ramsey: The Stories That Captured the Nation
Published on September 10, 2008


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