Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart tells of her heartbreak at the death of ...

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart tells of her heartbreak at the death of ...
Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart tells of her heartbreak at the death of ...

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart has told of her heartbreak after van-like blogger Gabby Petito was found dead, and spoke of her concern that many missing women like her may never be found.

Smart was kidnapped in 2002 when she was 14, and held for nine months by street preacher Brian David Mitchell and his wife.

But she told Jada Pinkett Smith on Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk show that she had been terrified at the idea that she might be killed and her body never found by her parents.

'In Gabby's case in particular, I mean, I was alive, and I came home, and hers tragically has not ended that way,' said Smart, who is now an activist for victims' rights. 

'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.' 

Smart said she remembered that when she was kidnapped by Mitchell in 2002, she was concerned that her body would not be found.

She said: 'I asked him if he was going to rape and kill me if he could do it close to my house because it was important to me that my parents find my body and know that I hadn't run away.

'So when I think of Gabby Petito, when I think of all of these other victims, I feel like they still deserve every much to be found so that their stories have an ending as well.'

Petito's case has caught worldwide attention as prime suspect Brian Laundrie, 23, is still on the run. It was revealed yesterday that Petito, 22, died of strangulation, but the local coroner could not release any more information due to Wyoming law.

Her body was discovered in a campsite close to the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on September 19 - eight days after her family reported her missing, and 22 days after the last reported sighting of her alive on August 27. 

It has been revealed on Tuesday that Gabby Petito' cause of death was through strangulation, according to her autopsy results

It has been revealed on Tuesday that Gabby Petito' cause of death was through strangulation, according to her autopsy results

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart has revealed how she begged her abductor to rape and kill her close to her house so that her parents would be able to find her body

Kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart has revealed how she begged her abductor to rape and kill her close to her house so that her parents would be able to find her body

The 33-year-old shared harrowing details of her experience in a candid new interview with Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris on Red Table Talk

The 33-year-old shared harrowing details of her experience in a candid new interview with Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris on Red Table Talk

'My parents always said the worst part of having me gone was not knowing if I was alive and out there or if I was dead,' she said (pictured April 2003)

'My parents always said the worst part of having me gone was not knowing if I was alive and out there or if I was dead,' she said (pictured April 2003)

Smart, 33, who was famously taken from her family's Salt Lake City home at knifepoint when she was just 14, shared harrowing details of her experience with Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris.

'My parents always said the worst part of having me gone was not knowing if I was alive and out there or if I was dead,' she told the women. 

Abductor and self-proclaimed prophet Brian David Mitchell didn't kill her — but he and his wife Wanda Barzee did take her away from home, chaining her down in a makeshift campsite nearby before moving her to Lakeside, California.

She spent nine months, from June 2002 to March 2003, in captivity, with Mitchell performing a 'marriage' ceremony with her and raped her repeatedly.  

Smart was eventually found at age 15 after witnesses in Sandy, Utah called police. One said she recognized Smart, while another said she recognized the abductor.

Smart said on Red Table Talk that while she spent those nine months wishing someone would find her, there were times she lost hope she'd ever make it home.

'I always wanted to be rescued. I don't know that I always had hope. There were some pretty dark times for sure,' she said.

Listening to Smart, Banfield-Norris became momentarily overwhelmed and broke down in tears.

'It's just very, very powerful having you here,' she said.

Smart also revealed today how she was turned off of therapy after a re-traumatizing experience immediately after she was rescued.

She recalled how she was taken to a children's justice center the day after she got home and brought into a room with two psychiatrists, to whom she was told to speak openly about what had happened to her — so she assumed they were there to help.  

Listening to Smart, Banfield-Norris became momentarily overwhelmed and broke down in tears. 'It's just very, very powerful having you here,' she said

Listening to Smart, Banfield-Norris became momentarily overwhelmed and broke down in tears. 'It's just very, very powerful having you here,' she said

Pinkett Smith also became emotional, and pointed out that there are a lot of missing people whose cases don't get nearly as much coverage as Smart's did

Pinkett Smith also became emotional, and pointed out that there are a lot of missing people whose cases don't get nearly as much coverage as Smart's did

'It was two men. Middle-aged. Older. On the way to the room, they open this closet and say, "You can choose any stuffed animal you want." And I just remember feeling condescended too, because I was like, I'm 15. I just survived nine months without a stuffed animal. I'm pretty sure I can survive whatever's gonna happen next.'

She said she 'immediately shut down' because the men were about the same age as her captors.

'They were both clearly religious, which, bravo for them, but in that situation, where I had just come out of nine months of being abused and manipulated by someone who was trying to lose religion, that just made me feel uncomfortable.'

It got worse as she was asked to describe, in detail, what had happened to her. Smart said she had a sheltered upbringing and was 'very innocent and naïve' before her kidnapping. For example, in her home they didn't use words like 'penis' and 'vagina' — they said 'privates.'

But in the room with those two men, she was repeatedly pushed to explicitly describe what Mitchell had done to her.

'They're like, "OK, so what happened?" And I'd be like, "They hurt me." And they'd be like, "Well how'd they hurt you?" [And I said] "Well, they molested me." [And they said] "Well how'd they molest you?" [And I said] "Well, they raped me." [And they said] "Well, do you know what rape is?" And I was like, "Well, yeah, he forced himself on me."

'And they'd be like, "Could you use the correct body parts?" So I finally had to get it down to, "He physically forced his penis into my vagina repeatedly." That was terrible. By the time I left, I just knew that I never wanted to speak about it with anyone every again. I didn't want to speak of what happened.'  

Smart was famously taken from her family's Salt Lake City home at knifepoint when she was just 14

Smart was famously taken from her family's Salt Lake City home at knifepoint when she was just 14

She spent nine months, from June 2002 to March 2003, in captivity, with Mitchell performing a 'marriage' ceremony with her and raped her repeatedly

Fortunately, abductor and self-proclaimed prophet Brian David Mitchell didn't kill her — but he and his wife Wanda Barzee did take her away from home, chaining her down in a makeshift campsite nearby before moving her to Lakeside, California

She spent nine months, from June 2002 to March 2003, in captivity, with Mitchell performing a 'marriage' ceremony with her and raped her repeatedly

She said it was later explained to her that the psychiatrists were there to get her testimony so they could stand in proxy for her at trial — but she didn't know that at the time, and assumed that it was what therapy was like.

'If this is what therapy is, I do not want it. And I refused. I refused to have therapy. Which, of course, panicked my parents. So they went and saw a therapist,' she said.

Her parents' therapist told them that this was OK — but they needed to be prepared 'because ultimately you both will be her biggest therapists, and you need to be in a place where you can handle that.'

In retrospect, with a better understanding of

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