Elizabeth Smart's neighborhood was jammed with cars and well-wishers on Wednesday evening, the dead-end street lined with balloons and blue ribbons.
"How can I even talk? This is such a miracle," said Lynne Godfrey, 57, a neighbor. "When I heard it, I thought it was a prank. I had given up hope — I mean, where would she have been? Who would have taken care of her for a year?"
Police found Smart, the 15-year-old girl who vanished from her bedroom nine months ago, alive Wednesday in a Salt Lake City suburb of Sandy. She was with a homeless drifter who was taken into custody.
Elizabeth's disappearance last June from her bedroom sent a chill through the affluent neighborhood overlooking Salt Lake City.
Wednesday friends and neighbors were celebrating.
"I'm just reflecting on this happy ending," said Gregg Macey, the father of a schoolmate of Elizabeth's. "I don't even care about the details. They will come out. The end result is she's alive and safe."