by Julie Cart and Tom Gorman, Los Angeles Times
SALT LAKE CITY - Despite thousands of telephone tips from throughout
United States, police said yesterday they were no closer to identifying
suspect in the predawn kidnapping of a 14-year-old girl from her
No one including the parents has been ruled out as a
suspect, Salt Lake City Police Chief Rick Dinse said.
About 1,300 volunteers fanned out yesterday in the upscale neighborhood
and foothills and canyons near the home where Elizabeth Ann Smart was
kidnapped at gunpoint early Wednesday. At the same time, investigators
sorted through possible leads.
An initial reward of $10,000 had swelled to $250,000 by yesterday.
"We have a lot more information a lot of things that have not
panned out," Dinse said.
Volunteers included teenagers on in-line skates, men in business suits
and housewives in hiking boots.
"This is something that is affecting the entire community," Mayor Rocky
Anderson said. "This community is hurting."
A young woman from Norway who had been lingering in Salt Lake City after
the Winter Olympics said she was caught up in the city's response to the
"I don't have children, but I have sisters," Stine Hellerud said. "Even
though I don't live here, I felt like I had to help and maybe make a
Elizabeth's parents, Edward and Lois Smart, appearing stressed and
exhausted, pleaded for their daughter's safe return.
"We just can't even fathom who it is or why they took her," Edward Smart,
a real-estate and mortgage broker, told CNN. "She's as near perfect as a
daughter can be. She plays the harp. She loved everyone. I don't know of
enemies that she has, or any people who would want to harm her."
Elizabeth was taken about 2 a.m. Wednesday after the abductor apparently
entered the three-story house through an unlocked window; the parents and
all six children were asleep. The kidnapper entered the bedroom shared by
Elizabeth and her 9-year-old sister, and ordered the younger girl to remain
The 14-year-old was taken away wearing her red satin pajamas after she
was allowed to grab shoes.
The younger girl told her parents two hours later, and they called
police. She described the suspect as soft-spoken, 5-foot-8, white, with
hair, wearing a light-colored, denim-type jacket and a white baseball
Concerned that police were slow to react, Ed Smart called church friends
"Ed said he felt the police weren't responding fast enough," said David
Hamblin, who leads the Arlington Hills ward of the Church of Jesus Christ
Latter-day Saints. "He said they thought Elizabeth was a runaway."
Detectives who searched the Smart house Wednesday examined the family
computer to see if the teen had had online contact with strangers.