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Brooks: An 'amazing' discovery

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CNN Correspondent Mike Brooks

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) -- Salt Lake City police said Wednesday that missing teenager Elizabeth Smart was found alive in a Salt Lake City suburb and her uncle told CNN she has been reunited with her family.

CNN Correspondent Mike Brooks discussed the developments with CNN Anchor Lou Dobbs:

DOBBS: An extraordinary and dramatic development tonight in Salt Lake City, Utah. Fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart, who vanished from her home nearly nine months ago, has been found alive. Elizabeth was discovered in the car of a drifter during a traffic stop in Sandy, Utah, that's a Salt Lake City suburb, just about 13 miles outside Salt Lake City. The drifter once worked at the Smart family home.

Our Mike Brooks joins us now and has more on what is an amazing story -- Mike.

BROOKS: It is amazing this discovery. I've never seen anything in all my years of law enforcement like this at all, Lou. This girl disappeared on June 5, 2002. She was 14 at the time, she's now 15.

Police were tipped off by two women who called law enforcement and said they saw the subject that they knew, they called "Emmanuel." His real name is Brian David Mitchell. He apparently had done some work at the Smarts' home as a handyman.

But they -- when police pulled him over in a small town called Sandy, which is about 15 miles from the Smart home, just south of Salt Lake City, they -- he was in the company of a woman and Elizabeth. She had on a wig at the time she was found by Sandy police. Sandy police took her to Salt Lake City.

And they -- law enforcement sources in Salt Lake City, Lou, call this "Emmanuel," this Brian David Mitchell, they call him a religious fanatic. We a few moments ago, John Ferguson was one of the eyewitnesses who spoke with us. And he said that when he saw the police pull the car over, there was a woman who had a veil on. He said it looked like it was some kind of religious veil.

And I'm sure this -- the law enforcement will want to find out, number one, if, in fact, she was taken as reported by force from her home on June 5 or she went voluntarily with this Brian David Mitchell, because she knew him from doing work at the home -- Lou.

DOBBS: Brian David Mitchell, a name that has been associated with this case, today apparently pictures again released of the suspect causing at least two people to call in to police to say they'd seen someone at least approximating his description. Can you tell us why the police had not been doing this more rigorously and sooner?

BROOKS: Well, they had, apparently, been looking at this subject from hearing -- from law enforcement sources there, Lou.

And last month Elizabeth's parents announced a new reward and also put a -- this photo of this "Emmanuel" subject out to the public. Apparently Mary Katherine, who is Elizabeth's 9-year-old sister, said that he resembled the man who came in to their bedroom that night of June 5 and took Elizabeth by gunpoint.

So apparently she saw some kind of resemblance there and that's why law enforcement and Elizabeth's parents had been looking for the subject ever since -- Lou.

DOBBS: Mike, do we have any sense of Elizabeth's condition now that she's in custody?

BROOKS: No, we don't. The witnesses apparently on the scene said that she looked as if she was healthy. But after nine months away from her parents, away from her family, with this person, I'm sure that she'll be suffering psychological trauma. But that will be something that we'll have to wait and see.

Law enforcement right now is probably going to try to get as much information from Brian David Mitchell and from Elizabeth, but treating Elizabeth with kid gloves at this time.

DOBBS: Oh, absolutely. And, Mike Brooks, we thank you.


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