Elizabeth Smart family gets involved in search for missing Provo woman

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PROVO, Utah – The search for a missing woman is continuing, and now the Smart family is getting involved in the efforts to find the woman--who vanished a little more than a week ago.

Elizabeth Salgado, known to family and friends as Elena, is 26 years old and was last seen around 1:30 on April 16 in the area of Center Street in Provo, and police said she was likely walking along 500 West.

Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her Salt Lake City home in 2002, and after she was found alive nine months later her story attained national prominence. Friday, Elizabeth and Ed Smart were working to help find Salgado.

The 26-year-old had only been living in Provo for about a month, and she was learning English at the Nomen Global School and living at the Branbury Apartments.

A press conference was held Friday to announce several agencies are getting involved in this search, including the Provo Police Department and Attorney General’s Office as well as the Latin American Chamber of Commerce and the group Operation Underground Railroad—which is an anti-sex trafficking organization that recently announced it was merging with the Elizabeth Smart Foundation.

Ed Smart said they want to keep the missing woman’s story in the public eye.

“What brought Elizabeth home was everyone’s help in finding her, specifically having the media out there brining the awareness of this missing girl,” he said.

Elizabeth Salgado’s uncle said his niece is very religious and had just returned from her mission in Mexico. She said she was likely spreading the gospel the day she disappeared.

“If anybody knows about my niece, please: We are begging you to let us know because in our family we are very worried about her that she’s in a dangerous situation,” said Rudemberdh Salgada. “We can’t sleep. We can’t eat. We can’t keep going with our lives.”

Elizabeth Smart had some words for the missing woman as well.

“Hang in there, keep fighting, keep surviving,” Elizabeth Smart said. “Do what you have to do to survive because we’re looking for you, and we will find you.”

Investigators are calling Salgado’s disappearance suspicious. Police said there has been no activity on any of Salgado’s credit cards, social media accounts or cell phone since she went missing.

Police said they have interviewed a few persons of interest and are tracking down a few more. They plan to interview everyone and anyone who knew or may have crossed paths with Salgado.

The woman was last seen wearing a denim jacket, blue jeans and black or brown hiking boots. She’s described as being 5-feet 4-inches tall and weighs between 120 and 130 pounds. She has long black hair and brown eyes.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 801-852-7307