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Two Couples May Split Reward Money

Two Couples May Split Reward Money

Posted - Mar. 14, 2003 at 5:05 p.m.



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Sammy Linebaugh reportingRudy and Nancy Montoya say if anyone would have told them the morning of March 12th they were going to find Elizabeth Smart that day, they would have said that's crazy.

But, that's exactly what they did.

"9-1-1." "YEAH, COULD YOU TELL ME, IS THIS WHERE I CALL IF I SEE THAT EMMANUEL THEY'RE LOOKING FOR?"

Nancy Montoya and her husband Rudy made that call just before 1pm on Wednesday after spotting the odd-looking threesome on State Street.

By 3:00 they learned their tip had, in fact, led police to Elizabeth.

Rudy Montoya: "GOOSEBUMPS WENT ALL OVER ME. I STARTED TO TEAR UP AND I GO, 'YES, WE GOT 'EM. WE FOUND 'EM.' I WAS BY MYSELF IN THE CAR, BUT I WAS SCREAMING, 'WE FOUND 'EM!'"

And by 5:00 that evening, they were telling their story to a stunned Salt Lake community.

Moments beforehand, they were greeted by Elizabeth's mother Lois.

"I HUGGED HER AND I WAS ALL EXCITED THAT I GOT TO SEE HER, AND SHE THANKED YOU LIKE 20 TIMES. THEN SHE CAME OUT OF THE ELEVATORS, RUDY SAYS 'THERE SHE IS, THERE'S ELIZABETH' AND SHE JUST LOOKED AT US AND SMILED, AND OH..."

Since then, the couple says they've barely slept.

Today, they met the man who's show, America's Most Wanted, put them onto Brian David Mitchell in the first place.

Nancy Montoya: "THIS IS EVERYTHING YOU COULD EVER DREAM OF. IT'S JUST EVERYTHING."

As for any forthcoming reward, they said they'll wait and see.

"WE HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ANYTHING ABOUT A REWARD WHEN WE WERE CALLING, OR YOU KNOW, LOOK FOR THIS GUY OR LOOK FOR HIM SO WE CAN GET MONEY. THAT WASN'T EVEN CROSSING OUR MIND."

The Mayor's office say until someone comes forward to actually request a reward, they don't plan to make a payment.

Two couples may actually share in the $250,000.

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