Wanda Eileen Barzee, Convicted In Elizabeth Smart’s Kidnapping, To Be Released From Prison
Wanda Eileen Barzee, who was involved in the kidnapping of then 14-year-old Elizabeth Smart is expected to be released from prison in seven days.
On June 5, 2002, Smart was abducted from her home in Salt Lake City by Barzee and her husband Brian David Mitchell.
Smart was held hostage for nine months until she was later discovered just 15 miles from her family’s home.
Throughout her captivity, Smart was raped by Mitchell nearly every day. She was also forced to smoke, drink alcohol and watch Mitchell and Barzee have sex.
Mitchell and Barzee were both charged with kidnapping and sexual assault. In 2010, Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison and Barzee was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
On Tuesday, the parole board determined that Barzee has fulfilled her sentencing and is set to be released in a week.
Upon hearing the news of Barzee’s release, Smart, in a statement, said she was shocked and disappointed in the parole board’s decision.
“It is incomprehensible how someone who has not cooperated with her mental health evaluations or risk assessments and someone who did not show up to her own parole hearing can be released into our community,” said Smart.
In 2013, Smart spoke out about her path of moving on from her abduction.
After reflecting on her kidnapping, Smart wrote My Story, which was published in 2013, detailing her kidnapping. She also created the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which contributes toward the prevention and recovery of victims of kidnapping and abuse.
Since then, Smart has continued to take control of her life. In 2012, Smart and Matthew Gilmour held a wedding ceremony in Hawaii.
Last year, the married couple announced the birth of their second child and Smart’s 14 year anniversary of being rescued.