A registered sex offender who helped to kidnap the Elizabeth Smart Kidnappers teenager near Otah Primary School after she was released from prison in September as Elizabeth Smart Kidnappers.
Wanda Barzi, who admitted to the crime of kidnapping Smart and helping keep her captive for nine months while Smart was raped, was released from prison five years earlier than expected and initially placed in a halfway house. Smart called the move “incomprehensible” at the time. Barzi, aged 73, moved to an apartment near the Park View Primary School, which teaches pre-kindergarten to fifth grade students.
Wanda Barzi, 73, is listed in the register as someone living in an apartment near the school after being placed first in a halfway house. She was released in parole prior to the expected date, despite her refusal to cooperate with mental health professionals during their detention.
Federal surveillance officers did not return a telephone message on Monday seeking a comment on Barzi’s live ranking near the Parkview Elementary School.
She was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2010 after admitting she was guilty of helping her husband, street advocate Brian David Mitchell, who kidnapped Smart in the knife in 2002 when she was 14 years old and raped her again and again for Elizabeth Smart Kidnappers.
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Smart held captive for nine months before finding and rescuing her.
Smart, now 31, has become a child safety advocate and is married with three young children. Persons with a history of child abuse and sexual violence such as Barzi should not be allowed to live near schools, she said in a statement.
Smart said it was “incomprehensible” to allow someone who did not cooperate with mental health evaluations or risk assessments to release him, but also said that she would not allow Barzi’s release to prevent her from living her life.
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Barzi spends five years of federal release under supervision. The release guidelines do not appear to restrict their proximity to the school.
Sexual offenders in Utah are prohibited from going to school, according to state regulations.
The school, which has students from kindergarten through fifth grade, is closed for winter leave.