Kidnapped US heiress finds love with young Scot

Daily Record, UK/January 23, 2012

A brave American heiress who survived a horrific kidnap and rape ordeal is to marry a Scot.

Elizabeth Smart was snatched at knifepoint from her millionaire dad's home when she was 14 and brutalised for nine months.

Now 24, she has put her nightmare behind her to become a Mormon missionary and fight for the rights of sex attack victims.

And she has found love with Matthew Gilmour, whose family live in Aberdeen, after meeting him while living in France.

They got engaged last weekend and plan to marry on July 1.

"I'm so excited," Elizabeth told US news network ABC, where she is a contributor. "We're looking forward to a bright future together."

Her publicist, Chris Thomas, added: "She is in seventh heaven."

Elizabeth's dad Ed said Matthew, who went toAberdeen Grammar School, was a "fine young man".

Thomas said the family were "very proud that she is engaged – and has taken so many things in her life and made them positive".

Matthew's family declined to comment. He shares Elizabeth's Mormon faith, and the couple are expected to marry in her home town of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Elizabeth was kidnapped in 2002 by self-styled "street preacher" Brian Mitchell, as her nine-year-old sister watched in horror.

He held the ­teenager at a squalid mountain camp, forced her to become his "wife" and raped her up to four times a day.

Elizabeth's hell ended when she was spotted in a diner by a man who ­recognised her from TV appeals.

Mitchell was jailed for life after Elizabeth calmly gave evidence against him.

His wife Wanda Barzee, who acted as his accomplice, got 15 years.

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