FBI Tries to Enhance Security Videotape to Find Possible Clues in Smart Case

The FBI is trying to enhance a security videotape from a hospital parking lot a half-mile from the home where a 14-year-old girl was taken from her bedroom at gunpoint.

The videotape from Shriners Hospital shows two cars meeting in the parking lot hours before Elizabeth Smart disappeared June 5. A security guard described one driver as vaguely similar to the man Elizabeth's sister saw in their shared bedroom that night.

Authorities are reconstructing a one-minute portion of the videotape, FBI special agent Kevin Eaton said. The crime lab is expected to extract still pictures by Tuesday.

"We're not going to get a license plate or anything like that," Eaton said. "I'm not sure how much help it's going to be, and then again I'm not sure if these two cars have anything to do with the kidnapping."

The video is washed out by the glare of the cars' headlights and what is may reveal is uncertain, police Sgt. Fred Louis said. Police reviewed the video last month but didn't find it useful.

The lab work is part of an investigation that has scrutinized Richard Ricci, 48, an ex-convict who worked as a handyman at the Smart home a year ago. He has said he had nothing to do with the girl's disappearance.

"That's a big focus of what we're doing — Ricci and his associates," Eaton said. "We have other avenues we're pursuing, but I won't say what those are."