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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

June 11, 2002
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Father of Missing Girl Takes Polygraph

New York Times

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The father of missing 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart took a lie-detector test at the request of investigators, later telling reporters, "I have nothing to hide."

Ed Smart took the test Sunday and it was being evaluated by the FBI, police Capt. Scott Atkinson said Monday. Police said Smart was not a suspect.

"It's just one of the tools we've been using to further the investigation," Atkinson said. "We're looking at every possible angle."

In a statement released Monday evening, Smart said, "When asked by law enforcement I fully cooperated because I have nothing to hide. We are doing everything in our power to bring back Elizabeth."

Police said a man forced open a window in the family's home on Wednesday and compelled the missing girl to leave with him at gunpoint as her 9-year-old sister watched.

Atkinson said 40 FBI agents and 60 police investigators continued to sift through the thousands of tips, but, "At this point, we're no closer to solving her disappearance."

The volunteer search through the city and mountain foothills was tapering off. On the first day of the search, 1,200 people volunteered to find Elizabeth. By Monday morning that number had dwindled to 400.

Chris Thomas, a spokesman for the family, said 55 all-terrain vehicle owners turned out to help search the West Desert area, each searching a 25 square mile area.

He said the ATV search would be continued Tuesday and there also were discussions about holding a four-wheel-drive search in the mountains and enrolling horse posses.

Police would not say what questions were asked Ed Smart during the polygraph and a family spokesman did not know whether Smart had an attorney present during the questioning. Police did indicate other family members may be tested.

Police also they were going to re-interview 9-year-old Mary Katherine Smart, the sister who saw the intruder but waited at least two hours before she woke her parents and told them.

"It's not uncommon" for police to give polygraph tests to parents, or to do several interviews, police Detective Jay Rhodes.






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