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Woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart now lives near elementary school

Al Hartmann/Deseret News Wanda Barzee at her May 2010 sentencing

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart is living several blocks away from a Salt Lake City elementary school following her release from prison in September.

Smart says people with a history of child abuse and sexual violence like the one who helped kidnapped her should be housed as far away from schools as possible.

Smart issued the statement Monday after learning that the woman who helped abduct her when she was a teenager is living in a Salt Lake City apartment a couple of blocks from a school.

Utah’s sex-offender registry lists 73-year-old Wanda Barzee as living in a house near the school. She was initially placed in a halfway house after her release.

Smart said every possible caution and protection should be taken to protect children from offenders, including housing them as far away as possible from schools, families and community centers.

Barzee pleaded guilty to helping her husband, street preacher Brian David Mitchell.

He abducted Smart at knifepoint in 2002 when she was 14 and repeatedly raped her.

Barzee is serving five years of federal supervised release.

Federal probation officers didn’t return a phone message Monday seeking comment.

Barzee’s supervised release guidelines don’t seem to set limits on how close she can live to a school.

Sex offenders in Utah are prohibited from going on school grounds.

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