Home Australia Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart, 36, marks the 21st anniversary of her sensational rescue – as she admits she thought ‘all her dreams had been stolen’ during harrowing ordeal

Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart, 36, marks the 21st anniversary of her sensational rescue – as she admits she thought ‘all her dreams had been stolen’ during harrowing ordeal

0 comment
Elizabeth Smart has marked the 21st anniversary of her kidnap rescue with an emotional post insisting 'miracles must happen'

Elizabeth Smart has marked the 21st anniversary of her kidnap rescue with an emotional post in which she insisted miracles must happen.

The now 36-year-old took to social media to reflect positively on the milestone as she shared: ‘I believe in happy endings. I believe that dreams do come true.’

Smart was just 14 years old when she was abducted at knifepoint from her bed in the family home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2002.

She was held captive by Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee and repeatedly raped for nine months before being rescued on March 12, 2003.

Elizabeth Smart has marked the 21st anniversary of her kidnap rescue with an emotional post insisting 'miracles must happen'

Elizabeth Smart has marked the 21st anniversary of her kidnap rescue with an emotional post insisting ‘miracles must happen’

Smart was just 14 years old when she was abducted at knifepoint from her bed in the family home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2002

Smart was just 14 years old when she was abducted at knifepoint from her bed in the family home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2002

Smart was just 14 years old when she was abducted at knifepoint from her bed in the family home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2002

The 36-year-old mum-of-three took to social media to reflect positively on the milestone as she shared: 'I believe in happy endings'

The 36-year-old mum-of-three took to social media to reflect positively on the milestone as she shared: 'I believe in happy endings'

The 36-year-old mum-of-three took to social media to reflect positively on the milestone, sharing: ‘I believe in happy endings’

In a clip shared to TikTok on Tuesday, Smart spoke directly to the camera as she explained: ‘Today is March 12th and it will always be a reminder that miracles do happen and that there are dreams, that come true and that good things are abundant in this world.

‘For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Elizabeth Smart and back in 2002 I was kidnapped and I was held hostage for nine months.

“But I was saved on March 12, 2003, so today is 21 years since I was saved.”

She continued candidly: ‘I know anniversaries mean many different things to different people.

‘I respect whatever that means to everyone individually, but to me it’s really a reminder that life is good and that dreams really do come true and that we should never ever give up – because we all have hard times , and we all have struggles, but good things are coming, and I think that’s really important.’

Smart, who now shares three children with husband Matthew Gilmour, whom she married in 2012, coincluded: ‘I think it’s really important to enjoy the joy in life and enjoy the joy in life, so wherever you are, I hope you find happiness.’

Elsewhere, she took to Instagram to share another touching caption which read: ‘I believe in miracles. I believe in happy endings. I believe in dreams coming true.

‘Today is the 21st anniversary of being saved. My life is far from perfect, but I am so happy and grateful for the life I have today.

Elsewhere, she took to Instagram to share another touching caption which read: 'I believe in miracles. I believe in happy endings. I believe in dreams that come true'

Elsewhere, she took to Instagram to share another touching caption which read: 'I believe in miracles. I believe in happy endings. I believe in dreams that come true'

Elsewhere, she took to Instagram to share another touching caption which read: ‘I believe in miracles. I believe in happy endings. I believe in dreams that come true’

Back in 2002, Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee's help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Back in 2002, Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee's help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Back in 2002, Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee's help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Back in 2002, Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee's help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Back in 2002, Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee’s help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Smart (pictured with her parents a month after she was rescued) was held captive by Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee and repeatedly raped for nine months before she was rescued on March 12, 2003

Smart (pictured with her parents a month after she was rescued) was held captive by Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee and repeatedly raped for nine months before she was rescued on March 12, 2003

Smart (pictured with her parents a month after she was rescued) was held captive by Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee and repeatedly raped for nine months before she was rescued on March 12, 2003

‘When I was kidnapped, I thought I would never finish school, go to college, fall in love, get married or have a family. I thought every dream I had for myself was stolen.

‘For me today is a celebration of all the happy moments in my life and a reminder to never give up.

‘I know that each of us has a story and that we all have our dark days in life, but I hope that whoever reads this finds themselves believing in miracles, dreams coming true and hope for a better future.’

Back in 2002, Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee’s help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time.

To prevent her from escaping, she was tied up with steel cables in an excavation filled with mice and spiders.

Smart was forced to take drugs and drink alcohol, she testified in 2009, and was raped daily — as often as four times a day.

Back in 2002, Mitchell (pictured), a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee's help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Back in 2002, Mitchell (pictured), a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee's help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Back in 2002, Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee's (pictured) help and took her into the woods where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Back in 2002, Mitchell, a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee's (pictured) help and took her into the woods where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Back in 2002, Mitchell (left), a self-proclaimed prophet, kidnapped Smart with Barzee’s (right) help and took her into the woods, where he performed a fake wedding ceremony before raping her for the first time

Mitchell and Barzee's trials dragged on for years due to delays and mental evaluations — it took nearly eight years for Mitchell's case to finally go to trial

Mitchell and Barzee's trials dragged on for years due to delays and mental evaluations — it took nearly eight years for Mitchell's case to finally go to trial

Mitchell and Barzee’s trials dragged on for years due to delays and mental evaluations — it took nearly eight years for Mitchell’s case to finally go to trial

Mitchell and Barzee later moved her to Lakeside, California, where they planned to kidnap other girls.

But after their last failed kidnapping attempt, she convinced them to return to Utah.

Smart was rescued at age 15 after she and her captors were recognized by witnesses in Sandy, a town in Salt Lake County.

Mitchell and Barzee’s trials dragged on for years due to delays and mental evaluations. It took almost eight years for Mitchell’s case to finally go to trial.

Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison for his crimes, but Barzee only got 15 years. In a plea agreement, she received credit for the seven years she had already served.

Barzee was released from prison in September 2018 and lived in the same town as Smart, despite the survivor’s pleas to the parole board not to release her.

Smart – who has since gone on to become a public speaker, author and advocate – founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation in 2011 and has spent over a decade fighting sexual assault victimization and exploitation.

You may also like