SALT LAKE CITY — Early in the morning of June 5, 2002, Brian David Mitchell cut through a window screen, broke into Edward and Lois Smart’s home, and forced 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart from her home in Federal Heights to a camp in the woods on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.
During eventual court proceedings, Smart recalled Mitchell's exact words when he put the knife against her throat: “I have a knife at your neck, don't make a sound or I will kill you and your family, get up quietly and come with me.”
Smart was held captive for nine months, which she later referred to as “nine months of hell,” at locations in both Utah and California.
Smart was starved and raped almost daily and forced to dress in disguise and to keep silent. Eventually, she convinced Mitchell to return to Utah, where she was discovered in Sandy on March 12, 2003.
On May 25, 2011, Mitchell was sentenced to life imprisonment.
"Today is the ending of a very long chapter and the beginning of a very beautiful chapter for me," Smart said after the sentencing. "I am so thrilled with the results that came out today, the life sentence. I couldn't be happier."
Smart has since become an advocate and motivational speaker focusing on human trafficking and sexual assault.Comment on this story
She served a mission for the LDS Church in Paris, France. She and husband Matthew Gilmour were married on Feb. 18, 2012, and have two children, a boy and a girl.
Smart has been the subject of multiple books and has also written a New York Times best-selling memoir about her experiences, titled “My Story.”
Last year, A&E and Lifetime came together in a cross-network effort on the 15th anniversary of Smart’s abduction — A&E releasing a two-party documentary titled “Elizabeth Smart: Autobiography,” and Lifetime releasing an original movie titled “I Am Elizabeth Smart.”