On April 13, 2021, two men were arrested in connection with the 1996 abduction of college student Kristin Smart. While it is believed that these two men kidnapped and later murdered Kristin Smart, some people have drawn similarities between her case and the abduction of Elizabeth Smart. In fact, some people are even curious about if the two women are related in some way.
So, is Kristin Smart related to Elizabeth Smart?
Unsurprisingly, no, the two women aren't related. And, although their last names are the same and they even slightly resemble each other, their cases aren't even totally identical. But the fact that they share a last name and they were both abducted certainly raises questions among those who have followed one or both cases over the years.
In 1996, Kristin Smart was abducted from or near the California Polytechnic State University campus, and she was never seen again. She was presumed dead in 2002, though no body has been uncovered to say for sure what happened to her after her disappearance. That same year, Elizabeth Smart was taken from her home by a man by the name of Brian David Mitchell, and she was found nine months later, not far from her family's Utah home.
Kristin Smart's alleged captor was charged with murder.
Paul Flores, who authorities said was with Kristin Smart the day she went missing, was arrested and charged with her murder. His father, Ruben Flores, was also charged in connection with Kristin Smart's disappearance and death, though his charge is one count of being an accessory after the fact.
"Throughout our investigation, Paul Flores has remained a person of significant interest," Sheriff Ian Parkinson said in a press conference announcing the arrests. "As the case progressed, became a suspect and the prime suspect in the case."
Paul Flores was reported to have left a party with Kristin Smart the night she went missing.
Elizabeth Smart was found alive months after her disappearance.
Elizabeth Smart's case, on the other hand, involved being abducted from her bedroom with her younger sister present as the only witness. And, unlike Kristin Smart's case, the one involving Elizabeth Smart ended in less tragedy. She had spent months with her captor, who claimed to be a preacher, and his wife, Wanda Barzee.
She later testified that she was raped countless times and made to wear coverings from head to toe to hide her identity when she went out in public with Mitchell and Barzee.
They remained in and around Salt Lake City, Utah, and even ventured to San Diego. After Elizabeth Smart's younger sister was able to describe Mitchell and a sketch was released to the public, she was found with the couple in Sandy, Utah, and she finally returned home to her family.
Kristin Smart and Elizabeth Smart's cases are clearly very different from each other, but that hasn't stopped people from trying to find a link between the women.