New Clues in the Elizabeth Smart Case?

This is a partial transcript from On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, June 13, 2002. Click here to order the entire transcript of the show.

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Tonight cops bring the search closer to home in the hunt for Elizabeth Smart, the 14-year-old Utah girl who kidnapped from her home at gunpoint more than a week ago. Fox News's Anita Vogel is in Salt Lake City with the latest — Anita.

ANITA VOGEL, FOX CORRESPONDENT: Well, Greta, you know, a lot of the focus today was on a local newspaper article suggesting that this kidnapping may have been an inside job. The Salt Lake Tribune ran with a story saying police are looking closely at extended family members of Elizabeth Smart and that perhaps it was a family member who abducted her. The story goes on to say that police believe a window screen was cut from the inside to make it look like a forced entry.

Today the family of Elizabeth Smart spoke out about the article. They called it "disappointing" and "lacking in credibility." But police say looking at a person's family is a routine policy in a kidnapping. But they have some other theories, as well. Now, we spoke to the two reporters who wrote the story. They say they have four independent sources confirming the information, and they say police are beginning to put the pieces of the puzzle together.


KEVIN CANTERA, SALT LAKE TRIBUNE: The evidence they have is put together a house of cards, if you will, and they're looking for that one bit of information that's going to drop on top of that house of cards. Everything else is going to collapse, and that'll be the only thing left.


VOGEL: Now, this afternoon police searched Elizabeth Smart's home again, taking dogs through the home once again. Also, police said this morning that there would be more polygraph tests administered. However, they didn't say to whom and when they will be administered.

Greta, back to you.

VAN SUSTEREN: Anita, thank you. We'll check back in with you a little later in the show.

Our next guest may hold a piece to the puzzle about Bret Edmunds, the drifter sought by police tonight. Carl Thorkildsen joins us from Salt Lake City.

Hello, Carl.


VAN SUSTEREN: Carl, first of all, how far is your home from the Elizabeth Smart home?

THORKILDSEN: Well, Greta, it's all the way across the Salt Lake valley. I'd say 20, 25 miles by car.

VAN SUSTEREN: How long ago did you move into the home that you now live in?

THORKILDSEN: May 15 we took occupancy. We noticed the car about two days after we moved in. So around the 17th of May, we noticed someone spending the night across the street from our house.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, so you noticed the car. What kind of car did you notice?

THORKILDSEN: It was a dark green Saturn, four-door, new. It was always well maintained. The car was always polished, even though there were times when the sprinkler systems would get it wet. I never saw the car not looking like it had been polished.

VAN SUSTEREN: Carl, what -- did you see the person who was occupying the car?

THORKILDSEN: No. I never did. My wife saw him from the back. He walked over once. It's an overlook of the city. He looked down towards the city, stretched and got back in the car, and she really never got a good look at him.

VAN SUSTEREN: So I take it that neither of you had a conversation with him.

THORKILDSEN: No, not at all.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did there come a time, even before Elizabeth Smart disappeared, that you contacted anybody about this car?

THORKILDSEN: Yes. First I contacted the homeowners association at Sun Crest, the development where I live. The car continued to show up, so I contacted the Draper police department, which is a little suburb of Salt Lake City, the town that's closest to where I live and we're actually a part of. They filled out a police report and sent out a couple of detectives, but I never heard anything from them. And the car kept showing up.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you mean, it kept showing up? Were there regular hours when the driver would show up and stay for a certain period of time?

THORKILDSEN: Yeah, he'd show up in the evenings, say, between 10:00 and 3:00 in the morning, sometimes as late as 3:00, sometimes as early as around 10:00, would stay there until around 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 in the morning. So he was there all night, sleeping in the car.

VAN SUSTEREN: Were you ever worried?

THORKILDSEN: I wasn't at first, but my wife was. She felt that it was just not right, that there was something really wrong with this guy sleeping over there. At first, I thought it was one of the workers because we have a lot of construction going on up there, a lot of new homes going up. But the longer he stayed there, the longer I felt more uneasy about it.

When I finally decided to do something, I took the photographs mostly to confirm the license plate because if I was going to be reporting it, I wanted to make sure I had accurate information. So that's why I took those images of the car. And then after that, I jogged by, confirmed that that information was correct, and then returned and ended up turning that over to the police.

VAN SUSTEREN: Carl, do you have neighbors near your house? And did anybody else complain or did you speak to anyone else about the person in the car?

THORKILDSEN: I never spoke to anyone else about it in the neighborhood. We don't have too many neighbors right now. But when I went over to talk to the sheriff, there were other neighbors there, and I found out that other people were also reporting this gentleman. Some of them had observed him out of the car more. They weren't as close as we were. Our house is the closest to his parking, but some of them were paying as much or more attention to his comings and goings as we were, and they had reported that to the police also.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Elizabeth Smart disappeared on June 5. Had you talked to the police prior to June 5 to report this car and this person in it?

THORKILDSEN: No, it was the next day. It was...

VAN SUSTEREN: Go ahead, Carl.

THORKILDSEN: I went in to the police station the very next day. I remember making a comment to the police officer, the dispatcher, when I went in. There was a poster of the young girl, and I made a comment to her about it. She didn't -- we didn't engage in much conversation about it because she was interested in getting my report. Nobody made that connection at that time, and I didn't until yesterday.

VAN SUSTEREN: Now, so you went in, it must have been on the 6th of June. Is that about right?

THORKILDSEN: I'm sorry? Repeat.

VAN SUSTEREN: So you went in probably about June 6, if it was the next day, is that right?

THORKILDSEN: That's correct. Yeah, the morning...

VAN SUSTEREN: All right...


VAN SUSTEREN: Did you see the car there the night before?

THORKILDSEN: You know, we tried to recollect that, and neither my wife or I are certain because there are nights that the car didn't show up. And so I couldn't go on the record saying one way or the other. We were just not certain.

VAN SUSTEREN: Has the car been there since the time that you reported it on June 6?

THORKILDSEN: Yes, the car showed up until -- the last day we saw it was Monday of this week. Neighbors reported seeing it on Tuesday and Wednesday, but my wife was quite certain that the car did not spend any time over in the parking lot. And she's quite certain that it didn't come back because she was really watching for it.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Carl, thank you very much for joining us this evening.

THORKILDSEN: You're welcome. Thank you.

Click here to order the entire transcript of the June 13 edition of On the Record.

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