Elizabeth Smart, a survivor of the kidnapping, spoke about the murder of Gabby Petito and described the case as “heartbreaking.”
Speaking in an interview with Jada Pinkett Smith on Red table talkMs. Smart spoke about her experience of being abducted at age 14 by street preacher Brian David Mitchell, and the recent case of Ms. Petito.
“In Gabby’s case in particular, I mean, I was alive and I came home, and hers, tragically, didn’t end that way,” Ms. Smart said.
“But knowing what it’s like to be on the other side and potentially what could have happened and what could have led to their final moments, and probably understanding a lot of what they were feeling, is heartbreaking.”
Ms. Smart was held by her captor Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee for nine months after being kidnapped at knife point from their home in Salt Lake City. She was eventually rescued by police on a Utah street, and the case has been widely reported and has become the subject of numerous movies and books.
Since being rescued, she has become an advocate for kidnapping survivors and has spoken openly about her ordeal.
Among her fears during the kidnapping was the idea that her parents might think she had run away from home.
“I asked him if he was going to rape and kill me if he could do it near my house because it was important to me that my parents find my body and know that I had not escaped,” he told Pinkett Smith. during your interview.
“So when I think of Gabby Petito, when I think of all these other victims, I feel like they still very much deserve to be found so that their stories also have an ending.”
Ms. Petito’s body was found on September 19 near Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Her family reported her missing several weeks earlier, after her fiancé, Brian Laundrie, returned alone from the couple’s cross-country road trip.
Mr. Laundrie has since disappeared and the police have named him as a person of interest in the case. Ms. Petito’s family has requested that all investigations of missing persons be treated with the care that Ms. Petito received.
Ms. Petito’s father, Joe Petito, said at a press conference: “I don’t want to discount the ridiculously hard work that the FBI and the police did, but social media has been amazing and very influential.
“And to be honest, it should continue for other people as well. This same kind of increased awareness must continue for everyone, for everyone. “