I do not believe Elizabeth was abducted and try to find those of the same opinion, not easy but here is another.
The rest of the story is easy to follow, as they needed, they shaped the story to be whatever they needed it to be. All of a sudden the sister remembers who it was that took her. These people were living in the woods behind their house in a tent! Surely Elizabeth spoke to someone during that time, perhaps one of her siblings. thats how they knew who she was with. That is also how they knew that she was alive!!!
As long as this went on, no matter how sorry you felt for the family, with what we were told, it was a given that she was dead. Or worse. But most likely dead or would be before she was found. People dont break into houses and steal little girls and let them live. Ijust doesnt happen. But this family stated on numerous occasions that they KNEW she was alive. Believe in whatever hokus pokus you want, I believe them. I believe they KNEW.
Then there was the attempt in another part of town to abduct - whoa, wait, it cant be - Elizabeths cousin using exactly the same MO but they were not sucessful. This news came at a time when the story about Elizabeth had been exhausted by all concerned and even the most hopeful had consigned themselves to the fact that this girl would be found as a skeleton somewhere in the coming years and identified using modern forensics.
Not Ed. He knew his daughter was out there so he rekindled the case with a second abduction attempt. This was attributed to the fact that Elizabeth probably wanted company so Mitchell was going to get her cousin for her. Funny how Larry didnt stick his probiscis down that hole with her. That would be the most interesting question of the whole case - is the attempted break-in at her cousins house now solved?
Mitchell and Barzee were street people. They helped this girl out. They were different. Elizabeth was on an adventure so she went along with it. Whether she dreaded coming home and facing her dad or wanted to punish him by being gone for so long or just got lost in this different world, who knows. But she couldnt have been so sheltered as to not know she could have gotton away from these people if she wanted. And if she was that sheltered, then that would explain a little girl taking off into the night. Most girls her age at that time already knew the dangers out there, or at least their potential. So, she was either being spiteful or was overprotected or both. Looking at Ed, she was both.
Ed Smart is dumb. He is a liar, and tonight, he made his daughter the hottest ticket in provo next fall, For the sake of his ego and to perpetuate the lie so he never gets caught and to feel powerful, even over his daughter(she did not want to be there), he paraded her out to help pass this bill, they got word it passed just as they were going to air, so it was too late to back out. wouldnt want to disappoint his new friend Larry.
Ed is an idiot. Elizabeth is a cute girl who continues to be victimized by her family, her church and her society. I hope for her sake that Mr.Ed hasnt set in motion a self fulfilling prophecy regarding his worse fears.
And Mitchell and Barzee, just more meat for the criminal unjustice system which is as interested in the truth as a fish is in dry land.
I will leave you with this reminder - when Elizabeth was first approached on the day of her "rescue", she answered the person who recognized her and approached her with, "you think i'm that girl that ran away."