CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Elizabeth Smart helps create app to find missing people

Mar 6, 2023, 2:47 PM | Updated: Mar 7, 2023, 7:32 am

There's no doubt that social media and technology can contribute to the lack of safety children may...

Elizabeth Smart talks at the Elizabeth Smart Foundation office in Salt Lake City on Friday, June 3, 2022, about her life and partnership with the Malouf Foundation ahead of the 20th anniversary of her kidnapping. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — There’s no doubt that social media and technology can contribute to the lack of safety children may experience. However, an app created by Elizabeth Smart is a new piece of technology that could prove to be a saving grace. 

Elizabeth Smart was abducted in Salt Lake City in 2002 when she was 14 years old. She was found walking the streets of Sandy, Utah, in March of 2003. Now, two decades later, Smart has partnered with a tech company called Q5id to create an app that centers around community safety. 

Related: Elizabeth Smart reveals details of assault, and what she’s doing about it

Together, Q5id and Smart created “Q5ID Guardian.” The app aims to “revolutionize finding missing people,” according to the site. 

The app works by allowing users to create an alert about their missing person. Next, the app alerts other users in the area with a description of the missing person. 

To help identify the missing person, the alert creator can provide pictures, physical traits, and details about their personality like “shy, has dementia, special needs.”

The National Crime Information Center reports 600,000 missing person cases a year. 

Smart and Q5id created the app in November 2022. They say it can help bystanders recognize the signs of an abduction. Smart told Axios, “If that can lead to my rescue … it can lead to their rescues as well,” she said.

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Elizabeth Smart helps create app to find missing people