The Utah teen sustained rape and also other atrocities by a husband-wife team that hosted her captive because that nine months.

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In early on June 2002, days before she was set to graduate from middle school, 14-year-old Elizabeth smart was taken native her home in Salt Lake City, Utah, and also held captive by street preacher Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee.

Chained come a tree in a campsite just miles native home, clever was repetitively raped, starved and also forced come drink alcohol and view pornography. She was also sometimes carried to town as her captors gained provisions, her face concealed through a veil, for this reason near and yet so far from the worried family and volunteers who desperately combed the area.


But this to be a rare horror story with a happy ending, as the ideas led come the teenager's safe return less than a year after she disappearance. And also despite the legit obstacles that threatened to indefinitely hold-up a trial, Smart eventually saw she captors receive their just punishment as she continued her exceptional recovery from the life-changing ordeal.

Here is a finish timeline the Smart's abduction and aftermath:

Fall 2001: Smart an initial encounters Mitchell

Smart and also her mother, Lois, come throughout a clean-shaven Mitchell panhandling in downtown Salt Lake City. Lois hand over five dollars and also says he can earn more by functioning on the household roof, an offer the beggar, that calls himself "Immanuel," accepts for a day task in November.


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June 5, 2002: clever is kidnapped

Smart is jolted awake in the early-morning hours by a knife pressed to her throat and a voice bespeak her the end of bed. Her younger sister, mar Katherine, is also awakened, despite she stays motionless until rushing to their parents a couple of hours later.

Smart, that recognizes she now-bearded abductor as Immanuel, is compelled on a grueling hike increase the foothills behind her house until they reach a campsite, whereby they space "married" in a ceremony through Barzee.


June 14, 2002: Police arrest a potential suspect

Richard Ricci, a career criminal who also worked in ~ the clever home, is arrested for a special amnesty violation, though he is not yet a formal suspect. Four weeks later on he is charged v stealing jewelry and other items from both the Smarts and another family members in the neighborhood.


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Elizabeth smart at 14 years old

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images


July 24, 2002: Mitchell attempts to abduct Smart's cousin

Police space summoned come the residence of Lois' sister ~ a daughter is awakened by who cutting v a bedroom window. That is later on revealed the Mitchell and Barzee were behind the check break-in, v Mitchell seek to make Smart's 15-year-old cousin another bride.


August 30, 2002: peak suspect Ricci die in prison

Three job after enduring a brain hemorrhage the left the in a coma, Ricci is removed from life support. Smart family spokesman kris Thomas argues that Ricci's death might motivate others harboring beneficial information to come forward. "Perhaps those people will currently be an ext inclined come tell police what they know," that says.

September 2002: Mitchell, Barzee and also Smart take a bus to California

The trio will invest the next several months in the mountain Diego area, moving in between campsites and also eating at homeless shelters. Smart later on writes about Mitchell's effort to kidnap one more girl throughout this time.

Oct 12, 2002: mary Katherine remembers she sister's abductor

The recollection come as mary Katherine thumbs through a Guinness book of civilization Records. Upon coming to a web page of a muscular woman, she suddenly remembers the homeless handyman who helped fix the roof the vault year, his voice identical to the one that ordered she sister the end of your room on the traumatic night in June.


February 3, 2003: The Smart family members publicizes Mitchell's police sketch

After clashing v authorities end the issue, the Smart family members goes public v a lay out of "Immanuel." Police downplay the definition of release the sketch, however a woman soon comes front to say the the suspect may be she brother, when Mitchell's stepson identifies him after seeing the sketch and also a photograph on the February 15 illustration of America's most Wanted.

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February 2003: clever persuades Mitchell to take it them earlier to Salt Lake City

Following Mitchell's announcement the the household will relocate to a faraway city like new York or Boston, clever shrewdly reveals her "belief" that God wants them to return to Salt Lake City. Mitchell agrees and also soon has actually them hitchhiking back to Utah.

March 12, 2003: smart is rescued and reunited v her family

Smart and her two captors are discovered walking the street in Sandy, Utah, a couple of miles native Salt Lake City. The teenager is taken to the police terminal in she hometown, wherein she joyfully reunites through her family.