- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2002

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Police searching for 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart said yesterday they want to talk to a man who may have been in the area two days before she vanished.
Bret Michael Edmunds, a 26-year-old transient, was identified through his license plate number, which a milkman had spotted and reported to police, authorities said.
"We don't think he's a suspect at this point," police Sgt. Fred Louis said. Mr. Edmunds was being sought on outstanding warrants on charges of fraud and assault on a police officer, Sgt. Louis said.
Mr. Edmunds is probably living in a 1997 green Saturn with Utah license plate number 266XJH, Sgt. Louis said.
Elizabeth was reported taken at gunpoint from her parents' million-dollar home last Wednesday between 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The milkman, Charlie Miller, said Friday that he saw the car around 7 a.m. Monday, according to police. It drove slowly up and down the Smarts' street, which ends in a cul-de-sac. Mr. Miller said the man followed him up another cul-de-sac in the neighborhood. That's when he took note of the car and the plate number. Police said the three digits of Mr. Edmunds' license 266 matched some of the plate numbers given by the milkman.
Elizabeth's 9-year-old sister, who witnessed the abduction, described the kidnapper as a 5-foot-8 man. Mr. Edmunds is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 235 pounds.
Mr. Edmunds is not known to the family, police said. Sgt. Louis said he didn't know whether the girl and her family had been shown his photograph.
In early May, Mr. Edmunds was stopped by a West Valley City police officer for having improper car registration, said Assistant police Chief Craig Gibson. When the officer asked for Mr. Edmunds' license and registration, he purportedly sprayed the officer with pepper spray and sped off.
"Even if he had nothing to do with the abduction, we'd like to get him off the street," Chief Gibson said.
Mr. Edmunds also has been charged with burglary and forgery in Sanpete County, court records show. His probation officer didn't immediately return a message, and the disposition of those cases was unclear.
Police Chief Rick Dinse said Tuesday that the investigators were looking at those, not necessarily a family member, who had access to the neighborhood or the house. He said they have received some promising leads.
Officials from the Utah Department of Corrections have given police a list of dozens of names of known sex offenders on probation or parole, but nearly all of them have been cleared, said Jack Ford, an agency spokesman.
Police have interviewed hundreds of people and received 6,000 leads, of which 600 were deemed worthy of follow-up. Half of the 600 have been cleared.
Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father, submitted to a polygraph test on Sunday. The test, characterized by police as routine, is being evaluated by the FBI.
Police also re-interviewed 9-year-old Mary Katherine Smart, who had told investigators that a gunman entered the bedroom she shared with her older sister and forced Elizabeth to go with him.

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