SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 24, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart has been nominated for a Daytime Emmy for her work as a special correspondent on “Crime Watch Daily.”
The 30-year-old posted a picture of the notice to both her Instagram and Twitter pages with the caption: “Can’t believe this just happened!”
The show is nominated in the Outstanding Special Class series at the 44th annual awards.
Smart has been a special correspondent on the show for two seasons, during which time she has not only taken part in investigations, but sat down with host Chris Hansen to talk about her own personal ordeal, and how she is helping other victims.
Smart was just 14 in June of 2002 when she was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City by a religious fanatic. She was held captive for nine months, during which she was starved and raped, until someone recognized her and she was recovered.
Just last week, Smart sent a message of hope to the 13 siblings rescued from a California home after allegedly being held hostage for years by their parents.
Smart, who is now married with two children, was interviewed by ABC News on Jan. 17, and promised the siblings, ages 2 to 29, that they can “go on to have wonderful lives.”
“I would want them to know that they survived, they did it, and that life is not as dark and as terrible as it has been probably for their entire life,” Smart said in the interview. “There is happiness in the future and they can go on to have wonderful lives. This does not have to be the rest of their lives, that they’re the ones who decide.”
When she was recovered, it was revealed that she had been taken as a second “wife” for a self-proclaimed prophet whose real name is Brian David Mitchell. Mitchell is now serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.
The 13 siblings in California were rescued from their parents’ home in Perris by local law enforcement after a 17-year-old girl apparently escaped and called 911, saying her 12 brothers and sisters were still being held captive at the home, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
The parents, David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, have pleaded not guilty to torture, child abuse and false imprisonment, according to CBS News. If found guilty, the pair will serve 94 years to life in prison.
Smart, who has become an advocate for children’s rights in the years following her own abduction and captivity, told ABC News, “I don’t believe we’re meant to be miserable; I don’t believe we are meant to be unhappy.”
“The human spirit is incredibly resilient,” Smart added. “I do believe it’s possible that one day will come where they don’t have to consciously think about what happened to them.”
Smart now runs a foundation dedicated to helping kidnap victims and their recovery. Missing young people from Utah she has championed include Macin Smith, missing for more than two years from St. George, and Elizabeth Salgado, who disappeared in Provo in April of 2015.
Smart lives in Park City with her husband and their young children. The couple met while each served a France-Paris mission for the LDS Church.