06/12/2002

Utah Man Sought in Missing Girl Case


By Rich Vosepka, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - More than a week after a 14-year-old girl was apparently kidnapped from her bedroom, police Wednesday identified a man they think may have information about her disappearance.

A milkman told police that two days before Elizabeth Smart disappeared, he saw a car drive slowly up and down her street about 7 a.m., then follow him up another street. The milkman then took down the Utah license plate number.

Police want to question the car's owner, Bret Michael Edmunds, a 26-year-old transient, Police Sgt. Fred Louis said.

"We don't think he's a suspect at this point," Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Fred Louis said. Edmunds was being sought on outstanding warrants on charges of fraud and assault on a police officer.

He is probably living in a 1997 green Saturn with Utah license plate number 266XJH, Louis said.

Tom Smart, the missing girl's uncle, said police hadn't showed family members the photograph of Edmunds. He said he has faith in the investigation and remains confident that Elizabeth will be found alive.

In early May, police in another city stopped Edmunds for having improper car registration. Edmunds allegedly sprayed the officer with pepper spray and sped off, police said.

"Even if he had nothing to do with the abduction, we'd like to get him off the street," Assistant Police Chief Craig Gibson said.

Elizabeth was taken from her home in the early morning hours of June 5, police said. Her sister, who shared a bedroom with her, said the man threatened to harm Elizabeth if she told anyone. She waited two hours to tell her parents.

Elizabeth's sister described the kidnapper as a 5-foot 8-inch man. Edmunds is 6-foot 2-inches tall and 235 pounds.

The search for suspects has included people who were known to have had access to the home, and sex offenders who live in the region.

In all, police have interviewed hundreds of people and received 6,000 leads, of which 600 were deemed worthy of following up. About half of the 600 leads have been cleared.

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Back to previous page