Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped at age 14 in June 2002 by Brian David Mitchell and was held in captivity for nine months, during which time she was repeatedly raped by Mitchell as he and his wife, Wanda Barzee, traveled from Utah to Southern California and back.
In her new book, When There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up, Smart reveals more details about her time with Mitchell, including his alleged plan to kidnap another girl while Smart was in captivity.
The 30-year-old wrote that Mitchell posed as Mormon and befriended the girl's family before going to her house to kidnap her.
During her time in California with Mitchell, Smart wrote that he was searching for his "next wife," scouring local churches for young girls. At a Mormon church in El Cajon, he befriended a family and was invited to their home for dinner.
There, he saw a photo of a girl who he learned was the daughter of the host from a previous marriage who often visited the home.
“That was all it took for him to decide that this young girl would be his next victim,” Smart wrote.
According to Smart, Mitchell returned to the campsite where he and Barzee were holding Smart and bragged about his plan to "rescue" the girl.
Smart wrote that one night, Mitchell traveled to the girl's home on a bus, wearing the same dark clothes and carried the same knife as the night he had kidnapped Smart.
Mitchell never abducted the girl, however, with Smart alleging that he went to her home and changed his mind after he heard a man snoring inside.
“I know most people consider snoring a health risk or an annoyance,” she wrote. “But in the case of this young girl, it saved her life.”
Smart was rescued in March 2003.0comments
When There’s Hope: Healing, Moving Forward, and Never Giving Up is out now.
Photo Credit: Twitter / @ElizSmart