By NOA ISRAEL
On the evening of June 5, 2002, 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart went to bed as she did every night, alongside her younger sister in their shared bedroom. However, in the middle of night Smart was awoken by a man who told her to come with him and be silent. Smart, fearing for her life, complied, and was led out of the house.
After months of searching for the missing teen, hope to find her alive began to dwindle in the community. Unbeknownst to the world, Smart was alive and being held captive by the man who took her from her home, Brian David Mitchell, and his accomplice Wanda Barzee. Smart was taken out in public on several occasions wearing a disguise, but the strange costumes eventually caught public eye.
On March 12, 2003, nine months after her abduction, Smart. Mitchell and Barzee were confronted and questioned by police while out in the park. Police recognized smart and she was taken to the police station and reunited with her family.
Smart endured months of starvation, rape and cruelty while with her captors. Mitchell was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and Barzee was sentenced to 15 years. Recently CNN reported, Barzee wasn’t expected to be released from state prison for at least another five years. But after receiving credit for time served in federal prison, Barzee is scheduled for release on Sept. 19.
Now, Smart fears for her the safety of herself, her children and others in the community. In a news conference Smart pleaded for the decision to be reconsidered. While it does not look like Smart will win her plea, she is still continuing to fight against her captors and receive justice for her torture.