Wanda Barzee leaves prison for a motel


SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Wanda Barza is no longer inmate number 195557.

She is now number 1134472  on Utah’s sex offender registry and according to the registry, Barzee is now living at a motel in South Salt Lake.

After 15 years in prison for her role in the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, Barzee left in secrecy from the Utah state prison.  

“We are not treating this release any different than any other release that we do,” said Mike Haddon with the Utah Department of Corrections.  “And when we are releasing, we don’t make it a public spectacle.  We just release.”

Barzee will now be under the supervision of federal probation officials for the next five years.
As part of her release:

  • Barzee can’t have any contact with Elizabeth Smart or her family.
  • She’ll reside in an emergency housing facility until a permanent place can be found.
  • Abide by a curfew where she can’t be out after 9 p.m. through 6 a.m.
  • Participate in a mental health program

Barzee’s niece says she should not have been released because she’s mentally ill. 

“I wish they would have never let her out,” Tina Mace said.  “Anyone who does that to a child is evil.”

Her attorney, Scott Williams disagreed and told reporters speculation about her is wrong.

“There is no reliable evidence to support speculation that Ms. Barzee poses a threat to the community in which she resides or any particular person,” Williams said.  “It is unfair and counterproductive to assert otherwise without reliable evidence.”

But Elizabeth Smart still maintains Barzee is a threat to the community.

Wednesday she was scheduled to speak at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania.  

“I just think the best thing all of us can do, that I will continue to be, that I hope everyone else will continue to be is to be vigilant in protecting our families, our friends, our communities but also to not live in fear,” Smart said.

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