Kidnap survivor Elizabeth Smart, who was abducted from her Utah home by a rapist when she was 14 years old and held for nine months, said she is heartbroken about Gabby Petito’s death.
Smart, 33, who is now a victims’ rights activist, appeared Wednesday on the show “Red Table Talk,” where she shared details from her harrowing ordeal in 2002 and discussed the sensational case of the 22-year-old Long Island native, whose death has been ruled a homicide.
“In Gabby’s case in particular, I mean, I was alive, and I came home, and hers tragically has not ended that way,” Smart told Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, on the show.
“But knowing what it’s like being on the other side and potentially what may have happened and what may have led up to her final moments, and understanding probably a lot of what she was feeling, it’s heartbreaking,” she added.
Smart has described in her 2013 book “My Story” how she was snatched from her bedroom in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2002 and forced to the ground at knifepoint before being held for nine grueling months.
She has said she was treated as a sex object by Brian David Mitchell and as a slave by his wife, Wanda Barzee, who denied her food and water for days at a time. Mitchell was sentenced in 2011 and is serving two life terms. Barzee was released from prison in 2018 despite pleas from Smart that she be kept behind bars.
Smart, who has since gotten married and become a mother of three children, said on the show that when she was kidnapped, she desperately wanted to make sure her parents didn’t think she had run away.
“My parents always said the worst part of having me gone was not knowing,” she said.