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New Details on Campsite in Dry Creek Canyon

New Details on Campsite in Dry Creek Canyon

Posted - Mar. 17, 2003 at 10:14 p.m.



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Karen Scullin reporting(KSL-TV News) -- Charges against Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Barzee are expected late Tuesday morning.

Eyewitness News has new details of what investigators found at the campsite where the suspects and Elizabeth lived for two months following the kidnapping.

The campsite where the three were staying was up in a canyon, just about three miles from the Smart house. Elizabeth took a helicopter ride Sunday to point out exactly where they were staying, late today we learned what investigators found there.

Investigators first thought they had determined the campsite where Brian Mitchell, Wanda Barzee, and Elizabeth stayed for two months following the kidnapping.

But when Elizabeth boarded a helicopter with investigators Sunday, she reportedly pointed out the “real” site.

Detectives quickly learned the three had stayed underground in a concealed hole Mitchell dug himself or some kind of underground structure. The site was reportedly covered with boards and dirt.

That is why the three were not picked up by infrared cameras during the search in the days following the kidnapping. The heat-sensing camera cannot see through boards. The site was very well concealed so searchers on the ground or in the air never spotted anything out of the ordinary.

Chris Thomas/Family Spokesperson: “THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE SEARCHED THAT CANYON WHO DIDN'T SEE THEM, AND HAVE CARRIED ENORMOUS AMOUNTS OF GUILT, AND CAN'T SLEEP AT NIGHT, THE FAMILY WANTS THEM TO KNOW THAT THEY DID THE RIGHT THING."

"THERE ARE A LOT OF WHAT IF'S ..BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT SHE IS HOME WITH HER FAMILY."

At the site, investigators reportedly found an incredible amount of evidence--possibly the knife used in the kidnapping and a rope. Prosecutors are preparing to file charges against Mitchell and Barzee tomorrow. Today, Smart family members met with prosecutors from the district attorneys office to discuss the case.

Chris Thomas/Family Spokesperson: “THE FAMILY DOES WANT TO SEE JUSTICE IN THIS CASE, THEY BELIEVE MITCHELL AND HIS WIFE SHOULD RECEIVE APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENT FOR THEIR CRIMES AND THAT JUSTICE SHOULD PREVAIL.

Thomas said Monday Elizabeth is doing well and that in time, she may go back to school. But the family is reportedly taking it one day at a time.

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