Asheboro, NC - The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time.   

Smart was abducted at age 14 on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Smart to her family on March 12, 2003, after she had been held for nine grueling months.   

Through this traumatic experience, Smart has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs, and national legislation. She triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her captivity, which led to his conviction.   

Smart will bring the story of her journey from abduction to empowerment to the first installment of the 2020 Friends of the Library Sunset Signature Series at 7 p.m. Saturday, February 15, in downtown Asheboro's historic Sunset Theatre. Her appearance is free and the public is invited.   

The Sunset Series is sponsored by the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau, the City of Asheboro and the Friends of the Randolph County Public Library.   

Smart chronicled her experience in her New York Times best-selling book My Story. She and other abduction survivors also worked with the U.S. Department of Justice to create a survivor's guide, You're Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment.   

In 2018, she published Where There's Hope: Healing, Moving Forward and Never Giving Up, a close-up glimpse into her healing process and a heartfelt how-to for readers to make peace with the past and embrace the future.   

Smart also is the founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which convenes partner organizations to prevent crimes against children and provide survivors with resources for recovery.   

Smart's abduction and recovery continue to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children's safety. She emphasizes vigilance by "everyday" people and the belief that hope always exists to find every missing child.   

Smart attended Brigham Young University. She and her husband Matthew have two children.   

Following Smart, the remaining Sunset Series events include:   

    *         Performance speed painter Tim Decker, 7 p.m. Saturday, March 14;   

    *         Jeopardy champion and "Greatest of All Time" Ken Jennings, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 14;   

    *         Top of the World, a Carpenters tribute band, 7 p.m. Friday, May 22.   

The Sunset Theatre is located at 234 Sunset Avenue. Seating is first-come-first-served.   

For further information, call 336-318-6803.