It’s been a case that has baffled investigators and the public alike. And now, one year later, officials are no closer to bringing Elizabeth Salgado home.
Elizabeth left class at the Nomen Global Language Center in Provo, Utah on April 16, 2015 and headed out to walk the 18 blocks back to her apartment.
She never made it; vanished without a trace.
“It’s been a frustrating case,” Lt. Brandon Post of the Provo Police Department told Dateline this week. “One we really would like resolved in a positive way, and we are still doing everything we can to get that outcome.”
Elizabeth’s family believes Elizabeth is being held against her will somewhere. They’ve spent the past year talking to the media and creating videos in several languages to plead for her release.
The past year without answers has taken a toll on her family.
“We can’t help thinking about what she is going through right now,” Rosemberg Salgado, Elizabeth’s uncle, told Dateline. The situation has been especially stressful, as the majority of Elizabeth’s relatives, including her parents, live in Mexico. Most do not speak English. “Stress is really high,” he said. “She could be anywhere at this point.”
The 26-year-old, who speaks little English, had moved to Provo two weeks prior to her disappearance. She had just finished serving a mission in Mexico for the Mormon Church. Then, as her uncle told Dateline, she “wanted to progress her life and be alongside those of the same faith.”
Elizabeth’s case attracted national attention, in part due to the efforts of Elizabeth Smart and her father, Ed. Elizabeth, now 28, was kidnapped from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002 and held captive for nine months before being rescued.
The Smarts are continuing to offer the Salgado family support, Rosemberg told Dateline. They are expected to hold a press conference early next week to attract greater awareness about the case. “Because Elizabeth Smart’s photo was all over and in everybody’s mind, that’s how they found her,” said Rosemberg. They are hoping the same coverage can bring their Elizabeth home.
There is still a full-time detective assigned to the case, but Provo police say that the stream of tips that came by the thousands a year ago, has drastically slowed. A $50,000 reward compiled from various donations is still being offered for Elizabeth’s safe return.
Until that day comes, the family is holding onto hope. The family marked the anniversary by marching from the apartments where Elizabeth lived to the language center, where she was last seen. “She’s still alive,” her uncle says. “We will never stop looking.”
Elizabeth Salgado is described as 5’4” tall, weighing 125 lbs. with black hair and brown eyes. If you have any information about the case, you’re urged to call the Provo Police Department at (801) 852-6210.