Entries in Engagement (3)


Kidnap Victim Elizabeth Smart Engaged, in ‘Seventh Heaven’

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(SALT LAKE CITY, Utah) -- Wedding bells are ringing for Elizabeth Smart, the young Utah woman who was kidnapped at age 14 and survived nine months of captivity.

"I’m so excited," Smart told ABC News exclusively. "We are looking forward to a bright future together."

A paid contributor for Good Morning America, reporting and providing analysis on issues related to missing and exploited children, and a music student at Brigham Young University, Smart, 24, got engaged last weekend and is planning a wedding for ”later this year.”

“She is in seventh heaven,” said her publicist Chris Thomas of Intrepid Communications. “She’s excited, she’s enjoying life. It’s been an adventure.”

Thomas would not reveal anything related to the proposal, groom or upcoming wedding. He only said that Smart and her family were “still working to finalize some details.”

“While [Smart] plans to be  involved with her public advocacy work, she really feels she needs to keep her personal life private,” Thomas said.

Smart has continued to be very involved with her Elizabeth Smart Foundation and its group radKIDS, a non-profit educational organization, as well as traveled across the country to speak about child-advocacy issues.

“It’s been a banner year for her,” Thomas said. “She has been in school, she has obviously been dating and has tried to make it a normal life.”

Homeless street preacher Brian David Mitchell abducted Smart from her bedroom in her Salt Lake City home at knife-point in 2002, while her then-9-year-old sister, Mary Katherine, watched from her own bed.

Smart took the stand in 2010 at Mitchell’s trial and gave harrowing details about how he and his wife, Wanda Barzee, held her captive for nine months. During that time, Smart testified that Mitchell raped her, forced her to  pretend she was his wife and to disguise herself in public. Smart was eventually found alive on March 12, 2003, by passers-by in a Salt Lake City suburb less than 18 miles from her home.

Mitchell, 58, was convicted of kidnapping and transporting a minor across state lines for sex and is serving a life sentence in prison. Barzee is serving a 15-year sentence in a federal prison hospital in Texas for assisting in the kidnapping.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Vermont Man Arrested After Proposing with Stolen Engagement Ring

Burlington Police Department(BURLINGTON, Vt.) -- Happily ever after got off to a rough start when a woman’s acceptance of her boyfriend’s marriage proposal landed him in jail. It turned out that Amber LaFountain’s new fiance, Ryan Jarvis, had stolen the engagement ring from a jewelry store.

LaFountain posted engagement photos on Facebook, and anonymous tips to the police following a news release about the robbery led to Jarvis.

Jarvis was ring shopping at a Burlington, Vt., Zales jewelry store on Dec. 26. Store employees told police he was perusing the ring selection for over an hour, at one point asking to compare the rings, which a clerk did not allow him to do.

“The male asked to see a 14K white gold solitaire weighing 1.01 carats. The ring has four prongs cradling the diamond,” according to an affidavit from the Burlington Police Department. “After looking at the ring briefly he ran east out of the store and through a mall exit which enters the garage.”

Jarvis managed to escape the mall with the $3,199 ring.

As police dusted the jewelry cases looking for finger prints and began their investigation, Jarvis took LaFountain out for dinner and popped the question. She accepted and posted a photo of the ring on her Facebook page.

Police released information about the stolen ring and multiple anonymous callers reported information to the police, including three of LaFountain’s own friends who all identified Jarvis as her fiance.

When police arrived at LaFountain’s home, they found her outside. She confirmed that she had gotten engaged the previous evening and had the ring with her. She said it didn’t fit, and she and Jarvis had taken it to have a ring sizer attached.

“While speaking with LaFountain she spontaneously asked if Jarvis had stolen the ring,” Burlington Police Officer Jesse Stewart wrote in the affidavit. “I asked her why she thought that and she reported that they did not have a lot of money and that she assumed so since the police were there.”

LaFountain handed over the ring and it matched the photo and serial number provided by the jewelry store. Jarvis came outside and admitted to the theft.

“He advised he selected a ring but knew that he could not afford it,” Stewart wrote. “He reported that he considered financing options but concluded that he would be unable to afford the ring he wanted. He reported he then ran out of the store with the ring. He advised he knew it was a stupid thing to do.”

Jarvis was arrested and charged with retail theft.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


John Edwards Not Engaged to Rielle Hunter

Photo Courtesy - ABC News (NEW YORK) -- Despite rumors to the contrary, former presidential hopeful John Edwards is not engaged to Rielle Hunter, sources close to the couple tell ABC News.

"I do not believe it to be true," Hunter's attorney, Alan Duncan, told ABC News when asked about a report in The National Enquirer that Edwards had proposed over a December vacation, just weeks after the death of his estranged wife Elizabeth Edwards.

Another source close to the couple also disputed the alleged engagement, telling ABC News that the couple was not planning to wed.

According to the Enquirer, the same publication that first broke the news of Edwards' extramarital affair with Hunter in 2007, Edwards told Hunter he wanted to "become one big, happy family."

A spokeswoman for the Edwards family declined to comment on the report.

Hunter is the mother of Edwards' 2-year-old daughter, Quinn. Edwards first denied the affair with Hunter before admitting the indiscretion in August 2008. Then, in January 2010 he admitted that he was, in fact, Quinn's father.

Reports of an impending wedding come just days after news that will of Edwards' estranged wife Elizabeth Edwards excluded the former North Carolina senator.

This is not the first time a wedding between Edwards and Hunter has been rumored.

Last year, following the announcement that Edwards is Quinn's biological father, the Enquirer ran a similar story reporting the couple's engagement that was also debunked.

Also last year, Andrew Young, a former aide to Edwards, told ABC News that Hunter talked about plans for a rooftop wedding in New York.

Elizabeth Edwards, who died Dec. 7 after a six-year battle with breast cancer, appointed her eldest daughter Catharine as the executor of her will, which makes no mention of John Edwards.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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