12:10 PM EDT 11/19/2013
Originally posted 01/20/2012 04:45PM
Elizabeth Smart is getting her happy ending.
Smart, 24, who was kidnapped from her home in 2002 at age 14, is engaged to be married, her father Ed Smart confirms to PEOPLE.
"We're very excited for her," Ed said Friday. "She told us at home last Saturday. I wasn't really surprised. They've been very happy together. We're just thrilled. We're looking forward to her moving on to this next stage and leading a very happy life."
Originally posted 10/18/2011 01:35PM
Now helping other kidnap victims with her foundation and in her role as an ABC News contributor covering missing person and child abduction cases, Elizabeth Smart was in Los Angeles Monday for the 6th annual Squeaky Wheel Tour kickoff, to help raise awareness on the 11th anniversary of singer-songwriter Gina Bos's disappearance in Nebraska.
The tour has drawn attention to thousands of missing persons and the organization's founder, Bos's sister Janelle Rap, claims their joint efforts with artists, media and law enforcement have helped lead to the discovery of more than 1,000 missing persons.
Attending Monday's event at the guitar store West LA Music with her father, Ed Smart, before returning to her classes at Brigham Young University in Salt Lake City, Elizabeth, 23, spoke to PEOPLE about, among various topics, missing children. "There's always hope," she said. "There's my story, there's Jayceee Dugard's story and Shawn Hornbeck.
She also discussed the child safety education program radKIDS and her own Elizabeth Smart Foundation – as well as a Missouri missing child case currently making national headlines, that of Baby Lisa.
Originally posted 07/07/2011 12:15PM
Nearly a decade ago, Elizabeth Smart, then 14 years old, was kidnapped at knifepoint from her bedroom inside her family's Salt Lake City. Utah, home. Nine months later she was found alive.
Now, Smart, 23, will help other kidnapping victims and their families as an ABC News contributor, focusing on missing person and child abduction cases.
"She'll help our viewers better understand missing person stories from someone with the perspective to know what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing," ABC News spokesperson Julie Townsend tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Originally posted 05/25/2011 06:35PM
Elizabeth Smart faced her kidnapper at his sentencing Wednesday, saying he will have answer for his sins in the next life.
"I don't have much to say to you," said Smart, 23, in a Salt Lake City courtroom. "I know that you know what you did was wrong ... You did it with full knowledge. But I want you to know that I have a wonderful life."
Brian David Mitchell showed no sign that he heard her. Instead, he sang "Oh Come, Emmanuel" during Smart's victim's statement.
Originally posted 12/10/2010 05:55PM
Just a few hours after Brian David Mitchell was found guilty of kidnapping her, Elizabeth Smart stood confidently outside the courthouse and praised the verdict.
"It's a wonderful day," Smart, wearing a green and black dress and pearls, said outside Salt Lake City's Frank E. Moss Federal Courthouse Friday. "I'm so thrilled to be here, so thrilled with the verdict. Most of all, I stand before the people of America to give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about what has happened to them."
Mitchell, 57, was convicted of kidnapping Smart when she was 14 and subjecting her to a terrifying nine-month ordeal. He faces possible life in prison for kidnapping for transporting a child across state lines for sexual purposes. He's due to be sentenced in May 2011.
Prosecutor Diana Hagen credited Smart's powerful testimony during the trial as a major factor in the jury's decision, and Smart in turn gave a nod to authorities.
Originally posted 12/10/2010 01:30PM
Brian David Mitchell was convicted on Friday of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart and subjecting her to a terrifying nine-month ordeal.
Seven years after he abducted her from her Utah bedroom, a jury in a federal court in Salt Lake City rendered a guilty verdict.
Mitchell, 57, who was convicted on federal kidnapping charges and on charges of transporting a child across state lines for sexual purposes, faces a possible life sentence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25, 2011.
As Mitchell was led into the courtroom to hear the verdict, he was singing "The Great Redeemer Died," as he often does. He didn't stop singing and showed no visible emotion when the verdict was read.
Elizabeth Smart, 23, took her seat next to her parents, Ed and Lois, and her sister, Mary Katherine. After the verdict was read, there was a look of triumph on Elizabeth's face, as she hugged her parents.
Originally posted 12/01/2010 01:50PM
Elizabeth Smart, who has shown remarkable calm and little emotion during the trial of her alleged kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell, stormed out of a Salt Lake City courtroom Wednesday.
She left when a psychiatrist for the defense testified that Mitchell had been motivated to kidnap Smart because of his desire to have children and create a new race.
Forensic psychiatrist Paul Whitehead, who has examined Mitchell, said he gathered this information from the journals of Wanda Barzee, Mitchell's estranged wife, according to local KSL-TV reports. Whitehead has testified that he believes Mitchell suffers from a "major psychotic illness" and a personality disorder.
On Wednesday, the doctor said that Mitchell chastised Smart for not wanting to have children after he and Barzee got baby clothes for the child. The clothes had been stolen.
Originally posted 11/30/2010 11:55AM
Elizabeth Smart's alleged kidnapper collapsed at his trial in Salt Lake City on Tuesday morning, possibly from a seizure, and was taken to hospital.
As the judge entered the courtroom to begin proceedings, Brian David Mitchell, who entered the courtroom singing "O Holy Night," dropped his head, was silent for about two minutes, then moaned loudly and collapsed, local TV station KSL reports.
"Judge, I think he's having a seizure," one of Mitchell's attorneys said.
Originally posted 11/20/2010 01:15PM
Wanda Barzee wept at the trial of her husband, Brian David Mitchell, as she recalled how he kidnapped and raped 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart.
Wearing shackles and a blue-and-white striped jail jumpsuit, Barzee, 65, broke down during cross-examination Friday by federal prosecutor Felice Viti in a Salt Lake City courtroom.
Barzee, who is serving a 15-years-to-life sentence after pleading guilty for her role in Smart's kidnapping, said she felt manipulated by Mitchell, who told her he was driven by religious revelations.
Originally posted 11/10/2010 01:45PM
Taking the stand for a third day, a calm and poised Elizabeth Smart finished her testimony for the prosecution Wednesday and then was questioned for only 15 minutes by a lawyer for alleged kidnapper Brian David Mitchell.
Suggesting that Mitchell suffered from mental illness, defense attorney Robert Steele asked Smart about Mitchell's frequent singing and praying during the nine months she was abducted when she was 14 years old.
Smart was also asked about the night in 2002 when she said Mitchell took her at knifepoint from the bedroom of her Salt Lake City home.
"Is it possible at that time he said, 'I don't want to have to hurt you and your family?' Is it possible those were his words?"
"Possible," Smart told the jury in federal court in Salt Lake City.
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