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Former Utah kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart gets engaged

Kristin Murphy / AP file

Elizabeth Smart. (AP Photo/Deseret News, Kristin Murphy)

 

Elizabeth Smart, the Utah woman who was kidnapped at age 14 and held captive for nine months, is engaged, a spokesman said Friday.

The 24-year-old Smart accepted the proposal last weekend and plans to marry this year.

No details about the groom-to-be were disclosed and Smart plans to keep her personal life private, Thomas said.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, wedding registries online at Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn list an April 7 wedding date for an Elizabeth Smart and Matthew Gilmour in Utah.

Smart's father, Ed Smart, told The Associated Press his future son-in-law is a "fine young man." He said he was pleased for his daughter and hopes she will have a happy life.  

Thomas told the Tribune that Smart plans to continue her public advocacy work.

"She is going to be involved in child advocacy work for a long, long time and really decided that she wants to keep her husband and [future] children out of the public spotlight."

Smart, who is of Mormon faith, completed her mission in France last year.

'Nine months of hell'
Onetime itinerant street preacher Brian David Mitchell was convicted in 2010 of Smart's 2001 kidnapping and sexual assault. He's serving a life prison sentence.

Smart had described her heartbreaking ordeal during Mitchell's trial as "nine months of hell."

Smart was 14 when she was abducted from the bedroom of her family home in Salt Lake City. She had testified in excruciating detail during Mitchell's trial about waking up in the early hours of June 5, 2002, to the feel of a cold knife at her throat and being whisked away by Mitchell to his camp in the foothills near the Smart family home.

Within hours of the kidnapping, she testified, she was stripped of her favorite red pajamas, draped in white, religious robes and forced into a polygamous marriage with Mitchell. She was tethered to a metal cable strung between two trees and subjected to near-daily rapes while being forced to use alcohol and drugs.

She said she was forced to live homeless, dress in disguises and stay quiet or lie about her identity if ever approached by strangers or police. Daily, her life and those of her family members were threatened by Mitchell, she has said.

A jury earlier unanimously convicted the 57-year-old Mitchell in December 2010 of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for sex.

Wanda Barzee, Mitchell's estranged wife and a co-defendant in the case, is already serving a 15-year sentence in a federal prison hospital in Texas for her role in the kidnapping.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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