FEATUREDMissing PersonsNews

A message of hope: Elizabeth Smart visits Florida’s Capitol

Scent Evidence K9 hosted Elizabeth Smart as she brought her message of hope to the Florida Children’s and Youth Cabinet to kick off Children’s week at the State Capital.


A message of hope: Elizabeth Smart visits Florida’s Capitol

Abducted, assaulted as teen, she now works as a child advocate.

Elizabeth Smart brought her message of survival to Florida’s Capitol. Smart, of Park City, Utah, was kidnapped at age 14 and held against her will for nine months in Utah’s rustic wilderness.

Her harrowing ordeal became a worldwide media obsession and the subject of a book and a made-for-TV movie. Her abductor is serving a life sentence.

The 30-year-old mother of two now travels the country as an advocate for missing and abused children. She spoke Monday to the Children and Youth Cabinet at the Capitol in Tallahassee.

“After I was rescued, I didn’t want anybody to know what happened to me,” Smart said. “I didn’t want people to know that I’d been chained up, and I didn’t want anybody to know I was abused … But I know exactly what it’s like to be abused, and ripped away from the life that you know.”

Smart said she was invited to Florida by Scent Evidence, a Florida-based company that works with numerous Florida sheriffs and markets an evidence kit that preserves human scent samples for use in missing person cases. She urged Florida officials to devote more resources to prevent cases like hers.