Elizabeth Smart said it is “heartbreaking” knowing what Gabby Petito likely went through in the days and weeks leading up to her strangulation.
Smart was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City home by Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee in 2002. She was held in captivity and raped by Mitchell for nine months, before being rescued by police officers on a street in Sandy, Utah, about 20 miles from her home. Gabby Petito's homicide was caused by strangulation, a coroner ruled Tuesday. (Steve Petito) (Steve Petito ) (Steve Petito) (Steve Petito )
One of her kidnappers, Barzee, was released from prison on parole in 2018 after serving 15 years in prison. Smart said Wednesday that she was disappointed in Barzee's release but thankful that she got some measure of justice.
"I was disappointed, but it also helped me have a greater appreciation for how many victims never even have a smidgen of justice. Their perpetrators walk every day free," she said. "Like, at least I got something. How many more haven’t?"