Where is Elizabeth Smart Now? How Long was She Missing?
by Janani | Updated May 29, 2023
Who is Elizabeth Smart?
Elizabeth Ann Gilmour, previously known as Elizabeth Smart, was born on November 3, 1987. She is an American child safety activist and a commentator for ABC News. Smart rose to national prominence when she was abducted from her residence in Salt Lake City at the age of 14 by Brian David Mitchell. Mitchell, along with his wife Wanda Barzee, held Smart captive for a duration of nine months until she was ultimately rescued by police officers on a street in Sandy, Utah.
In the aftermath of her harrowing experience, Smart has dedicated her life to working as an activist and advocate for missing people. Her remarkable story of survival and her relentless commitment to protecting others has made her a prominent figure in the field. Additionally, her abduction and subsequent rescue have been extensively documented in numerous non-fiction books and films, serving as a source of inspiration and awareness for audiences worldwide.
Where is Elizabeth Smart Now?
Smart has revealed that she currently resides in Wasatch County, Utah. She shares this peaceful and ordinary life with her husband, Matthew Gilmour. As a family, they enjoy engaging in recreational activities, particularly skiing. Smart and Gilmour take pleasure in hitting the slopes together with their three children. Her children are Chloe, who is 8 years old; James, who is 5 years old; and Olivia, who is 4 years old.
Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 years old at the time, was forcefully abducted from her bedroom in her family's residence in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2002. Throughout the following nine months, she endured daily rape, confinement, and constant threats of death if she tried to escape. However, on March 12, 2003, police officers rescued her on a public street in Sandy, Utah, approximately 18 miles (29 km) away from her home. Two witnesses identified her abductors, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee, from an episode of the TV show "America's Most Wanted."
On November 16, 2009, Barzee pleaded guilty to assisting in Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. On May 19, 2010, federal Judge Dale A. Kimball sentenced Barzee to 15 years in federal prison, taking into account the seven years she had already served. In Mitchell's case, the court found him mentally competent to stand trial for the charges of kidnapping and sexual assault. He was subsequently found guilty on both counts and, in May 2011, received a sentence of two life terms in federal prison.
How Long was Elizabeth Smart Missing?
At the age of 14, Smart was abducted from her own bed in Salt Lake City, leading to a horrifying ordeal of being held captive and subjected to torture for a period of nine long months. As the 20th anniversary of her rescue from the clutches of her kidnappers approaches, which falls on March 12, Elizabeth Smart has a special tradition in place for this significant day.
Without fail, she will make a phone call to her parents, just as she has done every year on this solemn occasion.
Elizabeth Smart Story
At the age of fourteen, Elizabeth Ann Smart was abducted on June 5, 2002, by Brian David Mitchell from her residence in the Federal Heights neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah. Mitchell, accompanied by his wife, Wanda Barzee, held Smart captive in different locations outside of Salt Lake City and later in San Diego County, California. After approximately nine months of captivity, Smart was eventually found in Sandy, Utah, approximately 18 miles (29 km) away from her home.
During the abduction, Mitchell forcefully took Smart from her home at knifepoint, while her younger sister, Mary Katherine, pretended to be asleep. Mitchell, who claimed to be a religious preacher, kept Smart confined at a camp in the woods along with Barzee, subjecting her to repeated acts of rape. Despite being taken out in public by her captors on several occasions, dressed entirely in white robes, Smart went largely unrecognised by those she encountered.
Following her rescue, Smart has dedicated herself to advocating for missing people and supporting victims of sexual assault. In 2010, Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for her involvement in the kidnapping and abduction. However, she was granted early release on September 19, 2018, due to previously uncredited time served. Mitchell, diagnosed by forensic psychologists with antisocial and narcissistic personality disorders, faced extensive legal disputes regarding his competency to stand trial, which lasted for several years. Ultimately, in 2010, he was deemed mentally fit for trial and subsequently received a life sentence without the possibility of parole in 2011.
What is Elizabeth Smart Doing Now?
Since her rescue, Smart has dedicated herself to advocating for the prevention of assault and supporting survivors in their recovery. In 2013, she authored a book titled "My Story," in which she courageously shared the details of her harrowing experience.
Smart has also expressed her openness to sharing her traumatic story with her children, emphasizing her desire not to conceal her past. In a 2021 interview with E! News, she emphasized the importance of acknowledging that everyone has a unique personal history and no one leads a flawless life. Smart believes that facing hardships and overcoming challenges is a natural part of the human experience. As her daughter Chloe started asking questions, Smart began engaging in conversations with her, gradually revealing the truth about her past and offering guidance and support.
Who Kidnapped Elizabeth Smart?
Elizabeth Smart, the teenager from Salt Lake City who was kidnapped from her bedroom, has been revealed to have been brainwashed by her captor, a self-proclaimed street preacher named Brian David Mitchell. Mitchell, who referred to himself as Emmanuel and believed he possessed divine status, managed to manipulate and control Elizabeth during her nine months in captivity. Elizabeth's father, Ed Smart, expressed his belief that Mitchell's brainwashing tactics were aimed at preventing Elizabeth from leaving him or seeking help from the authorities.
Despite the challenges they faced, Ed Smart expressed his confidence in his daughter's strength and resilience, stating that he believed she would overcome the ordeal. The investigation into the case remained ongoing, and there was a possibility of further arrests related to individuals who may have been aware of Elizabeth's situation but failed to come forward.
Elizabeth Smart Kidnappers Now
Mitchell was convicted of interstate kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor, leading to his current life sentence in prison. Currently, Mitchell is serving life in jail. Smart shared that, over time, the sexual assault she endured became numbing. She expressed the distressing reality, saying, "They did everything that my captors threatened or wanted to do to me, and there was no one there to protect me." Her captor, Mitchell, had repeatedly threatened to kill her and her family if she attempted to escape, a memory etched vividly in her mind.
Smart disclosed the frequent instances of rape she suffered at Mitchell's hands, which inflicted not only physical pain but also deep emotional anguish. She carried the weight of fearing rejection in her adult life due to no longer being a virgin, believing, "If people ever find out what happened to me, nobody will want to interact with me. Nobody will want to be associated with me, considering it tarnishing."
How was Elizabeth Smart Kidnapped?
On June 5, 2002, a tragic incident unfolded when Smart, a 14-year-old girl, was forcefully abducted from her bedroom at knifepoint in her family's residence located in Salt Lake City, Utah. What followed during the subsequent nine months was an unimaginable ordeal, as she endured daily instances of bondage, and constant threats of death should she dare to escape. However, the darkness that consumed her life was eventually pierced by rays of hope.
On March 12, 2003, a group of vigilant police officers came to her rescue on a public street in Sandy, Utah, which happened to be 18 miles (29 km) away from her home. Their timely intervention was made possible by the astute recognition of two witnesses who had seen the abductors, Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Ileen Barzee, featured on an episode of the television program "America's Most Wanted."
Where is Elizabeth Smart Now - FAQs
Elizabeth Ann Gilmour, formerly known as Elizabeth Smart, is an American child safety activist and ABC News commentator. She gained national recognition after being abducted at the age of 14 from her home in Salt Lake City by Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. Smart was held captive for nine months before being rescued by police officers in Sandy, Utah.
Elizabeth Smart currently resides in Wasatch County, Utah, with her husband, Matthew Gilmour. They lead a peaceful life and enjoy activities like skiing together with their three children: Chloe (8 years old), James (5 years old), and Olivia (4 years old).
Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bedroom in Salt Lake City at the age of 14 and endured a traumatic nine-month period of captivity, including daily instances of rape and threats of death. She was rescued by police officers on March 12, 2003, in Sandy, Utah, approximately 18 miles away from her home.
Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped by Brian David Mitchell, a self-proclaimed street preacher who manipulated and brainwashed her during her captivity. Mitchell believed he had divine status and used his influence to control and prevent Elizabeth from leaving or seeking help.
Brian David Mitchell received a life sentence in prison for his convictions of interstate kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. He will remain incarcerated for the rest of his life.
Brian David Mitchell was convicted of interstate kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor. He is currently serving a life sentence in prison. Wanda Barzee, Mitchell's wife and accomplice, pleaded guilty to her involvement in the kidnapping and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. However, she was released early in 2018.