Elizabeth Smart to work with ABC News

Jul 7 2011 - 7:03pm

SALT LAKE CITY -- Elizabeth Smart is taking a job with ABC News as a commentator focusing on missing persons and child abduction cases.

The Utah woman who was kidnapped from her bedroom at knifepoint, raped and held captive at age 14 by a Salt Lake City street preacher can provide viewers with a unique perspective, network spokeswoman Julie Townsend said.

A deal with the now 23-year-old has been in the works for several months and she could be on the air within the next few weeks, Townsend said.

"We think she'll help our viewers better understand missing persons stories," Townsend said in a telephone call from New York City. "This is someone with the perspective to know what a family experiences when a loved one goes missing."

Smart was kidnapped from her family home in the dead of night on June 5, 2002, by Brian David Mitchell, an itinerant street preacher whose writings have revealed he took the blond-haired, blue-eyed girl so he could practice polygamy.

Mitchell, 56, was convicted in December on federal charges of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for sex. He was sentenced in May to life in federal prison without parole.

An appeal of Mitchell's conviction has not yet been filed.

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