Wanda Barzee's New Neighbor Defends Her: 'She Is Not Hurting Anybody'
Wanda Barzee, Elizabeth Smart's convicted kidnapper, was released from prison in September.
The woman who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart 16 years ago is now living around the corner from an elementary school.
Wanda Barzee, 73, has moved in to a modest home in Salt Lake City. The school, Parkview Elementary School, is just 600 yards away.
Smart, who was 14 when she was kidnapped and is now a mother of three, was outraged by the news.
"Every possible caution and protection should be taken when it comes to protecting our children," she told The Associated Press. "Whether a person is deemed a current threat or if they have a history of sexual violence, prudent measures should be taken, including housing them as far away as possible from schools, families and community centers."
Inside Edition tried to speak to Barzee on Wednesday, but she declined to answer. A male companion with her told Inside Edition she "cannot possibly talk to anyone about anything" and attempted to push the cameras away.
However, one of Barzee's new neighbors defended her, telling Inside Edition, "She is not hurting anybody. There are not kids allowed on this property anyway.
"She keeps to herself, just leave her alone," the neighbor added.
Barzee was released from prison in September after serving eight years of a 15-year term for aggravated kidnapping.
Her husband, Brian David Mitchell, is serving life.
Barzee’s name and photo, as well as nine aliases, are listed on the Utah Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry.
Authorities say she is not breaking any rules by living so close to the school.
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