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. 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."
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.
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