SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A gunman forced his way into a house and
a 14-year-old girl Wednesday while her parents slept in
Police said the man also threatened Elizabeth Smart's 9-year-old
and said he would harm the teen if her sister said anything.
The two girls
share a bedroom in the home in the affluent Federal
Her sister waited several hours before alerting her parents because
the threat, said Duane Baird, a Salt Lake City police spokesman.
Police officers walk down the street toward the house where Elizabeth
"A two-hour window gives anyone the opportunity to be away from this
Searchers began looking for clues before dawn Wednesday. Baird said
family's home is for sale and police are looking at a list of
toured the house, a 7-bedroom home listed at $1.19
million. Police also
are looking at the family's computer to see if
the girl had contacted strangers
online, he said.
The sister told police that the soft-spoken man got into the house by
open a window and had a small black handgun. Elizabeth was
pajamas, and the man let her take a pair of shoes, police
There was no indication that the man knew Elizabeth, police said. He
call the teen by name and didn't appear to know his way around
the sister told police.
No other neighbors reported anything suspicious during the night, Baird
John Anderson, whose daughter Amanda is a close friend of
said the girl is very nice, calm and grounded.
"Her parents were very protective of her," he said. The girl was not
to attend sleepovers at Amanda's house two blocks away. "They
her, loved her," he said.
Sissy Galbraith, who plays basketball with Elizabeth on a Mormon
league team, said she was heading to the foothills to help
with the search.
"Everybody loves her," she said. "She loves her
Elizabeth's disappearance was the first use of Utah's Emergency Alert
known as the Rachel Alert, which was created to quickly
about an abducted child. The alert started
about 3 hours after police were
notified of the girl's disappearance.
The Rachael Alert, named after a Utah girl abducted and killed in
was adapted from the Amber Plan, named for 9-year-old Amber
was abducted and murdered in Texas in 1996. The Rachael
Alert went into
effect in April, making Utah the ninth state to
establish such a program,
along with a number of cities and counties.