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California Homeless Saw Elizabeth, Suspects

California Homeless Saw Elizabeth, Suspects

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(Lakeside-AP) -- People who call a rural California's Lakeside park home recall they saw missing Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart and her alleged abductors.

The unicorporated community of Lakeside (just east of Santee) is surrounded by hills and boulders about 15 miles east of downtown San Diego. There's a lake and a park where the homeless hang out.

John Neal has spent most of his 40 years in Lakeside and is now homeless. He recalls seeing the man and two women in white tunics. He says he saw them on several occasions in recent months, as recently as a few weeks ago.

Neal says the three kept to themselves and and didn't talk to anyone. He notes they sat on park benches to eat meals, mostly fast-food items. The women kept veils over their heads and would lift food underneath.

Another homeless man, a 54-year-old, would only give his name as Jon. He says of the three: "They were just hi-and-goodbye folks -- friendly but not too friendly."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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