Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapper is reportedly set to be released from prison much earlier than expected and she made it very clear that she’s horrified by that decision. HollywoodLife reports that the woman’s family is also just as shocked by the changed release date.
Wanda Barzee and her husband Brian David Mitchell kidnapped the now 30-year-old woman at knifepoint back in 2002 when she was just 14 and put her through unimaginable torture.
Smart remained their captive for nine months, time during which she was raped by the husband, forced to smoke and drink and watch the couple having sex.
In 2003, the husband and wife were arrested and sentenced to time in prison.
However, now, Fox News reports that the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole has changed Wanda’s initial January 2024 release to just a week from now!
Apparently, her time in federal prison was not acknowledged.
Smart released a statement about the woman walking free after only 15 years behind bars saying: ‘It is incomprehensible how somebody who hasn’t cooperated with her mental health evaluations or risk-assessments and somebody who didn’t show up to her own parole hearing can be released into the community. I am trying to understand why this is happening and exploring possible options.’
She went on to add that ‘I appreciate the support, the love, and concern that has been expressed and I will work diligently to address the issue of Barzee’s release and to ensure changes are made moving forward to ensure this does not happen to anyone else in the future.’
Elizabeth also promised to address the news more publicly once she has a better understanding of what is really going on.