Wanda Barzee, the woman who helped kidnap Elizabeth Smart, apparently had a wild night after she was released from prison.
A public information officer from the South Salt Lake City Police Department in Utah tells Us Weekly that authorities received a phone call of a noise complaint at an InTown Suites extended-stay hotel in the early hours of Thursday, September 20. An officer attempted to call back the complainant, who did not answer the phone. Therefore, police did not respond to the scene and will not further pursue the incident.
An unidentified fellow hotel guest claimed to TMZ that Barzee, 72, went on a tirade in which she was “wailing religious scripture at the top of her lungs” and praising Mormonism founder Joseph Smith.
Barzee was freed from the Utah State Prison around 7:45 a.m. on Wednesday, September 19. She was originally scheduled to be released in 2024, but the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole announced earlier this month that it had miscalculated the amount of time she should serve behind bars.
She will remain under federal supervision for five years.
Barzee and her husband, Brian David Mitchell, kidnapped Smart, then 14, from her home in Salt Lake City in 2002. The couple held the girl captive for nine months until she was rescued by authorities. Barzee pleaded guilty to the crime in 2009, and Mitchell, now 64, was sentenced to life in prison two years later.
Smart, 30, detailed her time in captivity during a chilling interview on CBS This Morning on Tuesday, September 18. “That first morning when [Mitchell] brought me into the camp and told me I was now his wife and kept telling me it was time to consummate our marriage, I just — at first, I didn’t know what he meant,” she recalled. “I was raped every day after that, multiple times a day. I was a little girl. I had not hit puberty yet. … [Barzee] would encourage him to rape me. She would sit right next to me.”
The activist took to Instagram after Barzee was released on Wednesday morning. “Without doubt the past few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotion, and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their kind words, support and concern. It has meant so much to me,” she wrote. “May we all remain vigilant in watching over our families, friends and community from anyone who would seek to hurt or take advantage. I truly believe life is meant to be happy and beautiful, and no matter what happens that will remain my goal for me and for my family.”
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