SALT LAKE CITY – A neighbor of a man police describe as a potential suspect in the disappearance of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart says he has been called to testify before a federal grand jury.
Authorities said they couldn't comment on grand jury matters, including confirming one had been formed.
Andy Thurber, a neighbor of Richard Albert Ricci, who police say is a potential suspect in the case, told The Associated Press that he spoke to Ricci on the morning the girl disappeared.
"He said he would get questioned," Thurber said. Thurber showed his subpoena to a news crew from KUTV, which first reported the story. He said he didn't know if other people had also been subpoenaed.
Thurber walked into the U.S. District Courthouse on Wednesday but made no comment. Ricci's wife, Angela, also was seen entering the courthouse Wednesday.
A message left for David K. Smith, Ricci's attorney, was not immediately returned Wednesday. Ricci was being held at the Utah State Prison on parole violation charges unrelated to the Smart case.
Elizabeth's uncle Tom Smart said during a morning news briefing that he could neither confirm nor deny any information about the grand jury.
Elizabeth was taken June 5 from her bedroom, where her 9-year-old sister, Mary-Katherine, was also sleeping. Based on the 9-year-old's descriptions, police said last week they think the abductor is 30-40 years old, nicely dressed and soft-spoken.
Ricci, 48, worked at the Smart home as a handyman more than a year ago. He is now in custody on an unrelated charge and has not been charged in the Smart case. A jail mug shot shows him with a thick mustache and long hair.
Ricci's wife has said her husband was asleep in bed on the night Elizabeth was kidnapped. Investigators have said they aren't satisfied with his alibi.
Both the girl's father and Ricci's current boss at a nursery said they doubted Ricci was the abductor, despite his that includes criminal convictions beginning almost three decades ago.
"He seemed to be fairly competent. I had absolutely no knowledge of his background or I never would have hired him," Ed Smart said. "He seemed nice enough."
Police on Tuesday handed out fliers with pictures of three cars Ricci has driven, a white 1995 Oldsmobile Cutlass, a tan 1992 four-door Taurus and a white 1990 four-door Jeep Cherokee.
Investigators wanted to hear from anyone who saw Ricci in one of the vehicles around the time Smart disappeared.