Details Emerge in Elizabeth Smart Case
President Bush on Thursday telephoned Ed Smart, the father of 15-year-old kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart, to express the nation's collective joy over her return home after being abducted nine months ago, the Associated Press reports.
"He said millions of Americans were praying for the Smart family," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
Elizabeth spent all day Thursday at home surrounded her family in Salt Lake City, Utah, say reports.
Since the news broke Wednesday that Elizabeth had been found and reunited with her family, details of her discovery and her ordeal have been emerging.
NBC News reported Friday that when authorities discovered the teen, she denied who she was and made no inquiries into the state of her family. At one point she also was held captive only half a block from Salt Lake City police headquarters.
According to The New York Times, relatives of the Smarts had been told by authorities that Brian D. Mitchell, who was arrested Wednesday in connection with Elizabeth's kidnapping, was a polygamist. The relatives reportedly believe it was Mitchell's intention to make Elizabeth one of his wives.
Also arrested Wednesday in connection with the kidnapping -- which reportedly occurred at knifepoint in Elizabeth's bedroom last June -- was Mitchell's wife, Wanda Ilene Barzee.
"There is no question this guy had an obsession (with) her," Elizabeth's aunt, Angela Dumke, told The Times.
Dumke also told the paper that she had seen some FBI files on Mitchell, which she described as chilling. "This guy is into polygamy and all of that," she said. "This is someone who thought he was above it all."
On Newsstands Now
- Amy Robach: 'I'm Lucky to Be Alive'
- Paul Walker: Inside His Tragic Death
- Julia Roberts: Choosing Family Over Hollywood
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine