PROVO — The pain of not knowing what happened to your missing loved one is something Ed Smart hopes no one will ever have to go through. But in 2015, he was approached by the Salgado family after their beloved Elizabeth disappeared.
“Rosemberg, Elizabeth’s uncle, called me about two weeks into her disappearance and asked me if we would help,” Smart said.
Without thinking twice, Smart and his family jumped into action setting up press conferences and search parties. After all, they went through a similar experience when their daughter Elizabeth Smart disappeared in 2002.
“We were in that state for nine months when we couldn’t find Elizabeth,” Smart said. “I knew that the best thing to do was to get Elizabeth’s face out there. I think the greatest resource we have is the public.”
Smart said year after year, he and his daughter would help the family with press conferences on the anniversary of Salgado’s disappearance.
“We had tried a couple of different groups to see if they could help us find her, if she had been trafficked or what had happened to her just because there was no lead,” he said.
In his case, it helped his daughter be recognized as she was walking along State Street in Sandy with her kidnappers.
Smart hoped the same would come true for the Salgado family, but was devastated to hear news that Elizabeth’s remains had been discovered. He said even though it is not the outcome they wanted, he’s glad they can get some sort of closure.
“At least they know she is in a better place, not going through the hell that happened to her that day,” Smart said. “The pain of not knowing, you know, constantly wondering and worrying, it’s like this wound that will not heal.”