Smarts Know Difficulties Ahead for Kidnap Victim

Smarts Know Difficulties Ahead for Kidnap Victim

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Nishi Gupta ReportingNow that the young missing girl was found alive in Idaho,six weeks after cops discovered some of her family members murdered, there is another important task at hand, and it's a familiar one to the Smart family. They know the importance of getting her reacquainted with family, friends and life. . Ed Smart and his family say the kidnapping was one thing. Getting Elizabeth back psychologically was something else. After going through such an extraordinary ordeal, the child will eventually have to return to a normal life.

Elizabeth Smart was missing for almost nine months before she was found. She and the rest of the Smart family know all too well what fears eight-year old Shasta Groene faced the last six weeks and what she's going through now.

Ed Smart: "She might have felt that she might never have reconnected with her family, and that's a real threat."

Shasta is already facing the trauma losing her mother and one brother, bludgeoned to death in the family's home, and now possibly another brother, 9-year old Dylan.

Capt. Ben Wolfinger, Kootenai County Sheriff, Idaho: “Our preliminary information is that he is deceased.”

The experiences of being kidnapped and of being found, they are a lot of emotions for a little girl to handle. Smart suggests young people need to be eased back into their lives. For Elizabeth, that started with surrounding her with people she trusts.

Ed Smart: "The more the opportunity for the child to be with the family and friends where she feels comfortable and secure, I think it makes the adjustment that much easier and it’s an important part of healing."

Smart says it’s natural to want to ask the child a lot of questions: what happened, where were you, who were you with? He says, let the police handle that.

Ed Smart: "They shouldn't be forced into some situation or cornered. I think that basically re-traumatizes them again."

He says instead, it's important to let children reveal those answers when they're ready. It is what Elizabeth did. He feels that may help Shasta on her road to recovery too.

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