Elizabeth Smart sharply criticized a judge's decision to release one of the people who held her captive for more than nine months, calling it an "incomprehensible" move.
Smart, now 30, was kidnapped at knifepoint out of her family's Salt Lake City home on June 5, 2002 when she was just 14 years old. She was held captive by a man and woman, and was sexually assaulted and forced to wear a veil in public to conceal her identity.
Brian David Mitchell was found guilty on several charges and is serving life in prison. His wife, Wanda Barzee, was imprisoned for 15 years in 2009. On Tuesday, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announced the 72-year-old Barzee be released on Sept. 19 on parole.
"It is incomprehensible how someone who has not cooperated with her mental health evaluations or risk assessments and someone who did not show up to her own parole hearing can be released into our community," Smart said in a statement, according to Fox News. "I am trying to understand how and why this has happened and [I am] exploring possible options."
Smart also addressed the support she has been given, saying, "I appreciate the support, love and concern that has already been expressed and will work diligently to address the issue of Barzee's release as well as to ensure changes are made moving forward to ensure this doesn't happen to anyone else in the future."
Smart was freed from her captivity on March 12, 2003 after someone spotted her with Mitchell and Barzee.
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