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Smart to Spend Kidnapping Anniversary Out of Spotlight

Smart to Spend Kidnapping Anniversary Out of Spotlight

Posted - Jun. 5, 2003 at 8:05 a.m.



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Debbie Dujanovic reporting Elizabeth Smart is now 15-years old, looking forward to summer, and has apparently decided privately which local high school to attend in the fall.

Because of her abduction, she missed the final days of middle school, her 8th grade graduation ceremony, and her first year of high school.

But her father says she's doing great.

Sitting on the front porch with her family, playing games, and having friends over.

Ed Smart: "I KNOW THAT WHEN ELIZABETH WAS TAKEN, I KNOW SHE THOUGHT SHE WAS NEVER GOING TO COME HOME. I KNOW SHE WOULD SEND HER LOVE TO EVERYONE OUT THERE AND THANK THEM FOR KEEPING THE FAITH, FOR HELPING US, AND FOR THEIR LOVE."

In the nine months she was gone, thousands of people searched for her. One man, Richard Ricci, stood falsely accused of her kidnapping, and the entire nation took an interest in the case.

Her father says if he could share one lesson, it would be this ...

Ed Smart/Elizabeth's Father: "YOU GET SO WOUND UP IN LIFE THAT YOU DON'T APPRECIATE YOUR FAMILY, YOUR CHILDREN ...AND SPEND THE TIME WITH THEM. I KNOW HOW MUCH IT MEANS AT NIGHT TO GET A HUG, TO FEEL LIKE LIFE IS NORMAL, IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT."

After all the efforts, Elizabeth Smart was finally found in Sandy in March.

Now Brian Mitchell, and Wanda Barzee are charged in her abduction. They are awaiting trial.

When asked Tuesday on national television if the family was gearing up for that trial, Ed Smart basically said, we've put our lives on hold long enough, we're not wasting a lot of time focusing on the trial and on the suspects.

The family plans to spend today together out of the public spotlight.

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