As someone who has gone missing herself, Elizabeth Smart wishes other missing persons had the same happy ending she did.
Smart, 33, recently appeared on an episode of “Red Table Talk” on Facebook Watch, where she spoke on the Gabby Petito murder and how she desires for each and every missing person, including women of color, to get equal attention and media coverage.
“In Gabby’s case in particular, I mean, I was alive and I came home, and hers tragically has not ended that way. But knowing what it’s like being on the other side and potentially what may have happened and what may have led up to her final moments and understanding probably a lot of what she was feeling, it’s heartbreaking,” Smart said.
Petito was reported missing on Sept. 11 after her boyfriend returned from a road trip without her. Her body was discovered over a week later.
A coroner’s report ruled her death was a homicide by strangulation. They believed happened three to four weeks before her body was found on Sept. 19.
The mother of three also spoke about how the kidnapping affected her parents.
“My parents always said the worst part of having me gone was not knowing…when I was being taken up into the mountains that first night that I was kidnapped, I asked him if he was gonna rape and kill me and if he was going to do that, could he please do it fairly close to my house because it was important to me that my parents find my body and know that I hadn’t run away,” she said.
“And so, I mean, when I think of Gabby Petito, when I think of all of these other victims, I feel like they still deserve just every bit as much to be found so that their stories have an ending as well.”
“When I think of all of the people… I mean, so many, so many whose stories never even see the light of day. I live in this field every day, and all the time I hear stories I’ve never heard, and they’re not just, like, brand-new stories of ten minutes ago. They’re stories of 5, 10, 20 years ago, and I’ve never heard of them,” Smart said.
She continued on, urging others to take into consideration the importance of their stories.
“Someone is missing. Like, are they any less worthy? Has any less of a hole been left because they’re gone? No. Like, they’re somebody.”
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