Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart is set to join ABC News as a correspondent, reporting on other cases of child abductions and missing children. Smart, 23, made headlines in 2002 when at the age of 14 she was kidnapped from her home in Utah and held captive for over nine months.
While the financial details of the deal have not been disclosed, Smart is expected to be a contributor on the ABC news show Good Morning America, as well as making guest appearances on Nightline, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend told the site, “This is definitely not about looking backward and telling her story, which has been well told and retold,” and that Smart will be “helping viewers understand missing-persons stories from the perspective of knowing what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing.”
Townsend added that the timing of Smart and the Casey Anthony trial is coincidental, and that “[the network deal] has been in the works for months.”
In an email to the Associated Press, Smart’s spokesperson Chris Thomas said, “Elizabeth is committed to giving back and getting involved where she can make the greatest difference through child advocacy work. Partnering with ABC provides a powerful tool to help her accomplish this.”
Smart’s abductor, Brian David Mitchell, entered her bedroom on the evening of June 4, 2002, and brought her to a camp in the woods where she was repeatedly raped and forced to watch pornography over the course of nine months. Smart was finally found after a she was spotted with Mitchell by a biker who had seen the case on America’s Most Wanted and contacted the police.
Mitchell, along with his wife Wanda Ileen Barzee, were indicted on kidnapping charges, and after several competency trials Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009, and Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison in May of this year.
Her story was documented in a book, Bringing Elizabeth Home, as well as a made-for-TV movie, The Elizabeth Smart Story, which aired on CBS.