Elizabeth Smart's younger sister Mary Katherine tells about how she stayed as still as possible on that fateful night so that she wouldn't get kidnapped as well

  • Mary Katherine shared a bed with Elizabeth and was in the room when her sister was kidnapped
  • The then-9-year-old was the one to tell her parents: 'Elizabeth's gone'
  • Four months after the kidnapping, she remembered the name of the captor

By Meghan Keneally

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Elizabeth Smart's sister Mary Katherine has long been seen in the kidnapping victim's shadow, but after her appearance during an hour-long special about the ordeal, it is clear that she is all grown up.

Mary Katherine spoke to Meredith Vieira about the night in June 2002 when her sister was taken from the bed they shared and how she tried her best to go unnoticed.

'If he realizes I'm awake, maybe he'll take me as well and then my family will never know what happened to us,' she recalls thinking to herself.

All grown up: Mary Katherine Smart talked about how she heard the man taking her sister Elizabeth from the bed they shared when they were children in 2002

All grown up: Mary Katherine Smart talked about how she heard the man taking her sister Elizabeth from the bed they shared when they were children in 2002

Then and now: Mary Katherine was only 9 when the kidnapping occurred (left) and now she is 20-years-old (right)
Then and now: Mary Katherine was only 9 when the kidnapping occurred (left) and now she is 20-years-old (right)

Then and now: Mary Katherine was 9 when the kidnapping occurred (left) and now she is 20-years-old (right)

Mary Katherine was only 9-years-old when her then-14-year-old sister Elizabeth was taken by Brian David Mitchell.

Now she is all grown up and 20-years-old, with long blonde hair just like her older sister.

 

During the NBC interview, which aired Friday night, Mary Katherine and her mother Lois told how the beginning of that horrible night was a normal one in the Smart household.

She and her sister shared a bed, and Elizabeth was happily playing the big-sister role by reading Ella Enchanted to Mary Katherine. She recalled: 'I was begging and crying and just so scared. I remember thinking, I know what comes after a wedding. And that cannot happen to me. That cannot happen'

She recalled: 'I was begging and crying and just so scared. I remember thinking, I know what comes after a wedding. And that cannot happen to me. That cannot happen'

Bond of sisters: On the night of her kidnapping, Elizabeth had stayed up late reading to Mary Katherine from Ella Enchanted

Bond of sisters: On the night of her kidnapping, Elizabeth had stayed up late reading to Mary Katherine from Ella Enchanted

In the middle of the night, a man walked into their room and threatened Elizabeth with a knife against her neck.

'I felt immediately awake. I could feel or sense my sister lying in bed next to me, she was asleep. I was so scared,' Elizabeth said during the interview.

Mary Katherine told Vieira that she tried to lay as still as possible to make sure that she would not get taken as well, but then still knew she needed to get out of bed eventually to help her sister.

'I was just trying to work up enough courage to run into my parents room and tell them what happened,' she said.

When she went into her parents' bedroom and raised the alarm- saying simply 'Elizabeth's gone'- it didn't seem real to her parents.

Holding out hope: Mary Katherine was the one who remembered- four months after Elizabeth had been taken- that the captor could have been the man named Emmanuel who had done some handiwork around the house

Holding out hope: Mary Katherine was the one who remembered- four months after Elizabeth had been taken- that the captor could have been the man named Emmanuel who had done some handiwork around the house

'Hearing those words coming from a sound sleep, it's like "Oh, she's had a bad dream" and when she continued "No, she really is gone," I got up and went running down the stairs and my first view was at the window and the screen was, I could tell it had been cut,' Lois said.

Not only was Mary Katherine the one to first alert her parents, but she ended up being the one to provide the pivotal final clue.

Four months after her sister had been taken, Mary Katherine suddenly realized that she remembered the man who was in their bedroom that night.

'I was just waiting for my dad to come in to tuck me into bed. I was just thinking like maybe who could it possibly be and Emmanuel just popped into my head,' she said.

Critical: Mary Katherine helped them come up with the sketch that they released, which later helped them identify Elizabeth's captor- Brian David Mitchell
Critical: Mary Katherine helped them come up with the sketch that they released, which later helped them identify Elizabeth's captor- Brian David Mitchell

Critical: Mary Katherine helped them come up with the sketch that they released, which later helped them identify Elizabeth's captor- Brian David Mitchell

Emmanuel was the name that Brian David Mitchell had told the Smarts when they offered to pay him to do some handiwork around the house after Lois saw him begging on the street months before the kidnapping.

With Mary Katherine's realization, the Smarts were able to get a sketch of Mitchell and pushed for police to immediately release it.

Officials were hesitant because they were following another lead, but eventually they succumbed and the sketch aired on America's Most Wanted.

A short while later, a woman called in a tip saying that she thought she spotted that man in a Utah Walmart. She ended up being right, and when Mitchell, his wife Wanda Barzee and a well-covered Smart were brought into a police station, the kidnapped teenager was finally reunited with her father.

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

Shelly, Seattle WA, United States, 3 hours ago ----------------------- The idiot is you! Instead of trying to establish what had really happened and why you and your likes are posting stupid comments about her strenth. She is not strong she looks rather very SEVERELY TRAUMATIZED finding an escape in rationalizing her experiences. Worts of all, that unscrupulous people have made a preacher of her instead of trying to find out why the MORMONS MITCHELS knew all about her family and their habits to pull it all off, why they preformed the crazy marriage ritual - looks like a religios thing to me, why she couldn't be recovered for so long despite the fact that she was practically under the noses of those who were loooking for her

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I am so glad for her that she got away from those awful crazy people, I just really don't understand why she didn't make a run for it. Poor child. I have to agree that it was a terrible mistake to invite a homeless guy to your house to do repairs, why not just look on yelp or angie's list and hire a contractor?? Whatever money they saved surely was not worth it.

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How long are they going to milk this whole bizarre kidnapping. The whole things stinks. This is about money. If it's so painful for them to think about this ordeal then shut-up about it.

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You're an idiot.

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This is about money.-----------------Iit's not about money. It's about religion and many people's twisted beliefs. Just think, if she weren't a mormon virgin girl would she be Mitchels' choice of a bride in the first place? I think not. I think she had been selected exactly becasue she was what she was

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Never hire anyone that isn't insured and bonded. There are websites all over the place to check out references and reviews. We all just need to be careful. The world is getting downright scary.

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They both have such sweet and pretty faces!!!! Lovely.

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The male cop in the library who let them go is the one who should feel terrible guilt. He did a terrible job of 'investigating' the couple on the spot. Why not separate them as is the usual case when questioning several suspects. Then, he glibly accepts Mitchell's crap about his 'daughter' being covered because of 'religious reasons' and that no other man could see her -- did it ever occur to him to get a FEMALE officer there to help out? He should be ashamed and haunted for the rest of his life for being so glib about it all.

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I'm so thankful that they got Elizabeth back and I know that others who listen to Elizabeth's survivor story, will be helped and encouraged.

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Glad to see she got a dog! I think the presence of a dog that night might have changed the outcome of what happened to that remarkable young woman and her family, just my opinion though. I wish all them a long and *happy* life.

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I think she was brave and has no reason to feel guilty. She's right that she could have been kidnapped or possibly worse if he didn't feel like managing two hostages, and it might have been much longer before they found Elizabeth, if ever. It's really great that this story had a happy ending, and its sad to think of the other people who are not so fortunate.

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She is truly an amazing young woman . She is strong and a survivor because of her upbringing , her loving family and her faith .

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