MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO)The disappearance of Jayme Closs has captivated the country.

Elizabeth Smart says she has followed the case since Closs disappeared in October. Smart was just 14 years old when a couple kidnapped her from her Salt Lake City home in 2002. Like Closs, she was also found alive, but after nine months of captivity.

RELATED: ‘What A Miracle’: Elizabeth Smart Rejoices After Jayme Closs Is Found Alive

Smart called Closs brave, strong, and a powerful survivor — but also says there is a long road ahead.

Elizabeth Smart (credit: CBS)

“The whole nation loves her and is so proud of her and admires her so much for surviving everything that she’s done,” Smart said. “But I’d also tell her that there is no going back to who she was before she was kidnapped, before this happened. And to chase after that is, it’s, I mean, she’ll never go back to that.”

Each year, there are close to 1,500 children kidnapped in the United States. Girls ages 12 to 17 are most commonly abducted.

RELATED: ‘My Jaw About Hit The Floor’: Neighbors Dialed 911 After Finding Jayme Closs At Their Door