The Utah teen endured rape and also other atrocities through a husband-wife team that hosted her captive for nine months.

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


In at an early stage June 2002, days prior to she was set to graduate from middle school, 14-year-old Elizabeth smart was taken from her residence in Salt Lake City, Utah, and held captive through street preacher Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee.

Chained to a tree in a campsite simply miles from home, clever was consistently raped, starved and forced come drink alcohol and also view pornography. She was also sometimes brought to city as her captors acquired provisions, her face concealed by a veil, for this reason near and yet so much from the worried family and also volunteers who desperately combed the area.


But this was a rare fear story through a happy ending, as the clues led to the teenager's safe return less than a year after her disappearance. And despite the legal obstacles that endangered to indefinitely hold-up a trial, Smart at some point saw she captors get their simply punishment together she ongoing her impressive recovery indigenous the life-changing ordeal.

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

Fall 2001: Smart very first encounters Mitchell

Smart and her mother, Lois, come across a clean-shaven Mitchell panhandling in downtown Salt Lake City. Lois hands over five dollars and says he have the right to earn an ext by working on the family roof, an market the beggar, who calls himself "Immanuel," accepts because that a day task in November.


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June 5, 2002: smart is kidnapped

Smart is jolted wake up in the early-morning hrs by a knife pressed to her throat and also a voice notified her out of bed. She younger sister, mary Katherine, is also awakened, despite she stays motionless until rushing to your parents a couple of hours later.

Smart, that recognizes her now-bearded abductor together Immanuel, is required on a grueling hike up the foothills behind her home until they reach a campsite, wherein they are "married" in a ceremony through Barzee.


June 14, 2002: Police arrest a potential suspect

Richard Ricci, a career criminal who also worked in ~ the smart home, is arrested for a parole violation, though he is not yet a officially suspect. Four weeks later he is charged through stealing jewelry and also other items indigenous both the Smarts and also another family 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 to the residence of Lois' sister ~ a daughter is awakened by someone cutting with a bedroom window. That is later revealed that Mitchell and Barzee were behind the check break-in, with Mitchell seeking to make Smart's 15-year-old cousin another bride.


August 30, 2002: optimal suspect Ricci die in prison

Three days after suffering a brain hemorrhage the left the in a coma, Ricci is eliminated from life support. Smart household spokesman kris Thomas suggests that Ricci's death could motivate others harboring beneficial information to come forward. "Perhaps those world will now be much more inclined to tell police what lock know," he says.

September 2002: Mitchell, Barzee and Smart take it a bus come California

The trio will invest the following several months in the san Diego area, moving in between campsites and also eating at homeless shelters. Smart later writes about Mitchell's attempt to kidnap an additional girl during this time.


Oct 12, 2002: mar Katherine remembers her sister's abductor

The recollection comes as mary Katherine thumbs through a Guinness publication of human being Records. Upon coming to a web page of a muscular woman, she all of sudden remembers the homeless handyman who aided fix the roof the ahead year, his voice identical to the one that ordered her sister the end of their room on that traumatic night in June.

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

After clashing through authorities end the issue, the Smart household goes public with a sketch of "Immanuel." Police downplay the definition of release the sketch, but a woman soon comes forward to say the the suspect may be her brother, when Mitchell's stepson identifies him after seeing the sketch and also a photograph on the February 15 illustration of America's many Wanted.

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February 2003: smart persuades Mitchell to take 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 she "belief" that God desires them to go back to Salt Lake City. Mitchell agrees and also soon has actually them hitchhiking earlier to Utah.

March 12, 2003: clever is rescued and also reunited with her family

Smart and her 2 captors are found walking the street in Sandy, Utah, a couple of miles indigenous Salt Lake City. The teens is taken to the police terminal in she hometown, where she joyfully reunites v her family.