Facts about Elizabeth Smart
Elizabeth Smart Biography
Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom on 5 June 2002 by a gun-wielding stranger who had broken into her family’s Salt Lake City home. Her kidnapping, and eventual recovery, became a major news story and public mystery in Utah and across America.
Elizabeth Smart’s younger sister, Mary Katherine, witnessed the crime while pretending to be asleep. In October, Mary Katherine told her parents she thought the kidnapper was Brian David Mitchell, a drifter and street preacher who called himself Emmanuel and had done odd jobs at the Smart home one day in November of 2001.
On March 12, 2003, Elizabeth Smart was found alive in Sandy, a suburb of Salt Lake City, after being spotted while walking with Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Ilene Barzee. Mitchell and Barzee were arrested, and Elizabeth Smart was reunited with her family. Both Mitchell and Barzee were eventually declared incompetent to stand trial and confined to mental institutions for treatment. In November of 2009 Barzee struck a deal with prosecutors that involved her pleading guilty and cooperating in the case against Mitchell, just as Elizabeth Smart was preparing to leave for France on a mission for her church.
Brian David Mitchell was tried and, on 10 December 2010, found guilty of interstate kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. He was sentenced in May of 2011 to spend the rest of his life in prison. Later that same year, Elizabeth Smart was hired by ABC News as a paid contributor, with a network spokesman saying she would appear “when there are missing children or missing-person cases in the news.”
Elizabeth Smart later studied at Brigham Young University, graduating in 2012 with a degree in music (with an emphasis on harp performance). She also founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, a non-profit working to prevent predatory crimes.
Elizabeth Smart married Matthew Gilmour on July 1, 2012. Although she did not name her fiancee publicly, the Salt Lake Tribune found wedding registries for the couple at Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn. “Gilmour is from Scotland. The two apparently met while Smart was serving an LDS mission in France last year,” reported the paper… Elizabeth Smart had a daughter, Chloe, in February of 2015… People magazine named Elizabeth Smart one of its ’50 Most Beautiful People’ in 2005… The Smart investigation initially focused on Richard Ricci, another handyman who had worked for the Smarts. Ricci was never charged with Smart’s kidnapping, but in August 2002 he died of a brain hemorrhage in prison while being held on a parole violation from another crime… Elizabeth Smart is no relation to New Hampshire criminal Pamela Smart.