Fact Check

Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart: Missing child or Internet hoax?

Published Mar 12, 2003

Claim:   A 14-year-old Salt Lake City girl by the name of Elizabeth Smart is missing.

Status:   Not any more.

Example:   [Collected on the Internet, 2002]



Age: 14
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 105 lbs.
White Blonde Hair
Fair Complexion
Blue Eyes.
Last seen wearing red satin, oriental short sleeve pajamas.

Abducted June 5th, 2002 from Salt Lake City Utah.

If you have ANY information contact the Salt Lake City Police Department

1-801-799-3000 (SLC)
1-800-932-0190 (Statewide)

Elizabeth Smart, 14, disappeared from her Salt Lake City home early Wednesday morning. Police say a man with a handgun entered the girls' bedroom around 2 a.m. and threatened to harm Elizabeth if her 9-year-old younger sister told her parents.

Mayor Rocky Anderson posted a $10,000 reward for information about Elizabeth's disappearance leading to the safe return of Elizabeth and the arrest of the suspect. Clear Channel Broadcasting has posted an additional $10,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Elizabeth and the arrest of the suspect.

The Suspect's Description:
Gender: Male
Race: Caucasian
Hair Color: Dark
Height: Approximately 5'8"
Special Identifiable Feature: Suspect is described as being very soft-spoken.
Last Seen Wearing: White pants, white ball cap and tan denim-type jacket.

* Printable poster from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Click here to view and print.

* Video of Elizabeth Smart

Click here to view.

If you have ANY information contact the Salt Lake City Police Department
1-801-799-3000 (Salt Lake City)
1-800-932-0190 (Statewide)


Origins:   Fortunately, this is one missing child story that, although real, had a positive


Elizabeth Ann Smart, a 14-year-old Salt Lake City resident, was abducted by an armed intruder who, during the early morning hours of Wednesday, 5 June 2002, forced his way through the window of her bedroom (according to her 9-year-old sister, who shared the bedroom with her and was the only witness to the event).

Although hundreds of investigators and seachers pursued leads, combing the foothills and canyons near the girl's home, and searched by air, they found no leads on her whereabouts or the identity of her possible abductor. The initial $10,000 reward offered by Mayor Rocky Anderson had swelled to $250,000 by the end of June 6.

Over nine months later, on 12 March 2003, police announced Elizabeth Smart had been found in the suburb of Sandy, Utah.

Additional Information:

Elizabeth Smart - Missing
  Elizabeth Smart - Missing

Last updated:   29 October 2007


  Sources Sources:

    Cart, Julie.   "Hunt for Utah Girl Unites Strangers."

    Los Angeles Times.   8 June 2002.

    Cart, Julie and Tom Gorman.   "Utah Teenager's Abduction Has Police Baffled."

    Los Angeles Times.   7 June 2002.

    Henetz, Patty.   "Teenager Elizabeth Smart Found Alive and Well Nine Months After Vanishing From Utah Home."

    Associated Press.   13 March 2003.

    Associated Press.   "Utahans Seek Girl Abducted by Gunman."

    Los Angeles Times.   6 June 2002.

    Associated Press.   "Searchers Urging People Around Nation to Look for Traces of Missing Utah Girl."

    9 June 2002.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.