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Sam Penrod reportingWe're starting to get a clearer picture today of the ordeal Elizabeth Smart went through, and the power her abductors appear to have had over her.
The Sandy police officers who found her say that it took half an hour before Elizabeth would even admit who she was.
Many people wonder why Elizabeth Smart was never able to get away from her captors, especially if she was right here in the Salt Lake Valley, but there is evidence her state of mind had become so distorted over the last nine months, that she felt no need to be rescued.
Sandy police were called to an area on State Street in Sandy just before 1 p.m. yesterday, on a suspicious person call, after two citizens reported seeing Emmanuel, a potential suspect in the Smart kidnapping case.
When officers started questioning the three individuals, they soon realized the girl was indeed Elizabeth Smart, but when they asked her who she was she repeatedly gave them a bogus name and for nearly 30-minutes denied she was Elizabeth.
"Karen Jones, Sandy P.D. "SHE WAS ADAMANT THAT SHE WAS AUGUSTINE MARSHALL FROM FLORIDA AND THE TWO PEOPLE SHE WAS WITH WERE HER PARENTS"
"Troy Rasmussen, Sandy P.D. "WE TOLD HER WE COULDN'T FIND HER IN ANY POLICE DATABASES, SHE SAID, WELL MY HOSPITAL RECORDS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED, I'M IN THE HANDS OF THE LORD, WE HAVE NO WORLDLY POSSESSIONS OR ID."
"Victor Quezada, Sandy P.D. "WE ASKED WHO DO YOU THINK WE THINK YOU ARE AND SHE SAID YOU THINK I'M THAT ELIZABETH SMART GIRL AND I'M NOT."
"Bill O'Neal, Sandy Police Dept. "JUST REALIZE YOU ARE SAFE NOW, IT'S ALL OVER, YOU CAN TALK TO US, WE'RE OUT OF EAR SHOT FROM THEM, IF YOU NEED HELP LET US KNOW, BUT SHE STUCK WITH THE STORY THAT SHE WAS AUGUSTINE AND TRAVELING WITH THEM TO SPREAD THE WORD OF GOD." "Victor Quezada: "SHE FINALLY TOLD ME, THOU SAITH, AND I ASKED HER IF SHE WAS ELIZABETH SMART AND SHE SAID THOU SAITH."
Finally, after Elizabeth was taken by herself to the nearby Sandy Police station, Officer Karen Jones says Elizabeth started cry and appeared to realize the nightmare she'd been living, was finally over.
The four Sandy police officers are giving credit to the citizens who called 911 and call Elizabeth's rescue, a team effort.
They say their initial focus was on the man, but quickly made the connection and realized it was Elizabeth who was wearing a disguise. They compared a missing flyer of Elizabeth Smart and say they kept trying to convince her that they knew who she was.
Officers say they were shocked to think they had found Elizabeth and that the adreniline was pumping.
And they all admit this is the biggest moment in their law enforcement careers.