June 4, 2002
The Smart family attends an end-of-the-year function at Bryant Intermediate School, where Elizabeth is supposed to perform her harp, but does not because she arrives late. She receives awards for academics and physical fitness that evening.
Between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., police say, a soft-spoken gunman wearing a Scottish-style golf hat enters the bedroom shared by 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart and her sister Mary Katherine, 9. The man reportedly abducts Elizabeth at gunpoint. The parents say Mary Katherine informs them of what happened two hours later.
Salt Lake Police announce an increase in the reward for Elizabeth's safe return from $10,000 to $250,000 as a result of donations from the community.
Edward Smart, Elizabeth's father, is released from a hospital in good condition after collapsing from exhaustion.
Police question and release a man who had contact with Elizabeth at a social function the family attended.
A lie detector test is given to Edward Smart, while a candlelight vigil is held in Salt Lake City's Liberty Park that night.
The investigation shifts focus as police report they are concentrating on those who had access to the neighborhood or house, although not necessarily a Smart family member.
A manhunt for 26-year-old drifter Bret Michael Edmunds is announced by police, who say Edmunds might have information about the teen's disappearance but stress that he is not a suspect.
Police say Edmunds may have been spotted at the candlelight vigil For Elizabeth.
Volunteers shut down makeshift command center that had been set up at a Mormon meeting house. Smart Family announced that decentralized searching would be more efficient. (Source: AP via http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/news/nation/3472682.htm)
In a copyright story Sunday, the Deseret News said Smart in an interview on June 6 revealed that his powered garage door shut itself only halfway the night before Elizabeth's abduction. Edward Smart told the newspaper an intruder could have entered through the garage and hidden in the basement. (source: USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002/06/15/missing.htm)
The Deseret News reports Ed Smart says he left a garage door open for at least two hours on the night before Elizabeth's disappearance. The Salt Lake City Tribune had earlier reported that detectives have been unable to explain how the abductor could have entered through a small kitchen window that appeared to be the entry point.
Investigators backtrack on what they believe happened during the kidnapping, now saying the abductor did not know Elizabeth's sister was watching. Earlier reports said the intruder told Mary Katherine to keep quiet.
Bret Edmunds wanted for questioning about the kidnapping of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart was caught Friday at a West Virginia hospital after checking himself in under a fake name with drug-related liver failure. Edmunds was in serious condition in the intensive-care unit at City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., nearly 1,800 miles from Salt Lake City. (Source: AP via http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/news/nation/3522895.htm )
On June 14, police announced the arrest of Richard Ricci, a 50-year-old handyman who carried out work at the home of Elizabeth Smart. He was arrested on a parole violation unrelated to the kidnapping. (Source: Reuters via http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/news/breaking_news/3530573.htm; and AP via http://www.sunspot.net/news/nationworld/bal-kidnapping24.story?coll=bal%2Dnationworld%2Dheadlines)
A federal grand jury began hearings.
David Morse, Sr., Ricci's father-in-law, said the FBI took a machete-like knife and a Scottish-style golf hat from his home. (Source: AP via http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/news/columnists/3558736.htm)
Douglas Rex Young was arrested on a federal warrant for violating parole. The former bank robber was transported Monday to the Salt Lake County Jail by U.S. marshals.
Police took fingerprints voluntarily from male neighbors of Elizabeth Smart to compare with dozens of prints left by visitors in the hours after the 14-year-old girl disappeared and before authorities arrived. (Source: AP)
Utah investigators conducted a second search of the trailer home of a Richard Ricci who police have said tops the list of possible suspects in the kidnapping of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart. FBI agents and detectives spent nearly five hours going through the home. (Source: Reuters via http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/3588841.htm)
Mayor Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City announced a $25,000 reward today for the safe return or information leading to the arrest of the kidnapper of 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart who was taken from her home at gunpoint four weeks ago. The girl's family has previously announced a $250,000 reward for her safe return, but the latest reward takes into account that she may be dead. (Source: Reuters via http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/nation/1481866)
A second award is being offered in the case of missing 14-old Elizabeth Smart - this one aimed at tipsters who want to remain anonymous.
Salt Lake City and the FBI are offering $25,000 for information leading to the location of the girl, dead or alive, or information that results in the conviction of those who took her.
That reward is separate from a $250,000 community reward for the safe return of the girl who was taken overnight from her bedroom at gunpoint on June 5.
Her family pleaded again Friday for whoever might have abducted her to let her go.
"It's been 30 days now," said her father, Ed Smart. "It's time for her to come home."
Elizabeth, 14, was abducted in the early-morning hours of June 5, setting off a probe that has brought up to 10,000 leads.
FBI crime lab is enhancing the images of 2 suspicious-looking cars. The cars were videotaped by a security camera at Shriners Hospital parking lot. The cars were videotaped the night Elizabeth was kidnapped. Smart home is 1/2 mile north of hospital
Volunteer searchers looked in Butterfield Canyon, Spanish Fork Canyon, Farmington Canyon and Upper Corner Canyon
(Source: Deseret News 07/07/2002)
Smart family daily news conference hit its lowest point Tuesday. No new developments to announce in the investigation or search for kidnapped Elizabeth Smart
News media's growing frustration a grave problem for Smart family.
Ed Smart said he received a letter that he suspects may have come from someone with knowledge of his daughter's abduction. Smart said he could not say whether the unsigned letter was credible
Father: 'I can't help but feel that he's involved'
Authorities charged Richard Ricci with stealing from the Smart home a year ago.
Ricci is charged with theft and burglary for allegedly stealing $3,500 worth of jewelry and other items from the Smart home in June of 2001. He is also charged with one count of burglary and one count of theft for allegedly taking jewelry and about $300 in cash from another home in the Smarts' wealthy neighborhood in April 2001.
Police: Ricci is a focus of their investigation, but not named as a suspect
A day after former handyman Richard Ricci was charged with stealing from the Smart family, Ed Smart demanded that Ricci cooperate with police investigating the kidnapping of his daughter Elizabeth.
"Our family has been through hell," Smart said. "I would like an end to this."
The initial courtroom appearance for former handyman Richard Ricci continued to July 31.
Transient Brett Michael Edmunds, seen in Smart neighborhood the week of disappearance, questioned by police in a West Virginia hospital. Edmunds turns out to know nothing about the disappearance.
Ricci pleads innocent to unrelated burglary and theft charges.
Ricci dies three days after suffering a brain hemorrhage and collapsing in his jail cell.
Twice daily briefings by the Smarts suspended.
Elizabeth Smart turns 15.
Feb. 3, 2003
Smart family releases sketch of Brian David Mitchell, who worked as handyman for family. Elizabeth's sister said he resembled man in house the night teen disappeared.
Elizabeth Smart found alive in suburban Salt Lake City.
(Other sources: The search for Elizabeth Smart http://crime.about.com/library/blfiles/blelizabethsmart-search-week2.htm; http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/smart/html/framesource.html)