Elizabeth Smart's Kidnapper Denied Early Parole

A woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap then-Utah teenager Elizabeth Smart from her Salt Lake City home in 2002 has been denied early parole.

Smart was forced to live with the couple in Lakeside, California east of San Diego after she was kidnapped.

The decision announced Monday night by the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole was expected after the 72-year-old Wanda Barzee refused to attend her hearing last month before the state parole board.

The board set a new hearing for one year before she'll be released in January 2024.

Smart was found in a Salt Lake City suburb after being held captive for nine months by Barzee and Brian David Mitchell, who is serving a life sentence for the crime.

Smart, now 30, declined comment on the decision through a spokesman. She said after the June 12 hearing that she's concerned that Barzee hasn't changed

Since her rescue in 2003, Smart has become a victim's advocate and has created a foundation to help prevent crimes against children.

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