Elizabeth Smart kidnapper Barzee out of federal prison, in state custody

Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune Elizabeth Smart talks with the media after HB286 passed the House 73-0 at the Capitol in Salt Lake City Thursday, February 27, 2014. The bill will allow elementary schools to provide instruction to parents and kids on preventing child sexual abuse. It was approved 73-0, and was sent to the Senate. Smart was kidnapped from her home in 2002.

Wanda Eileen Barzee, having completed a federal prison term for the 2002 kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart, was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on Thursday, presumably a temporary stop en route to more time behind bars in the Utah State Prison system.

Barzee, who — with street preacher and self-styled prophet Brian David Mitchell — held the then-14-year-old Salt Lake City girl captive, will now serve time for the attempted kidnapping of Smart's female cousin in July 2002, a month after Mitchell had snatched Smart from her bed.

Barzee, 70, had been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison in Texas in connection with Smart's abduction, after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor.

She was sentenced to 15 years, but as part of a plea bargain, received credit for the seven years she had already spent either at Utah State Hospital or the Salt Lake County Jail.

She has a state parole hearing scheduled for June 2018, but could remain in prison until 2024.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Adams, citing possible security and privacy issues, could not immediately confirm if or when Barzee would be transferred to state prison custody.

Mitchell, 62, is serving a life prison term in an Arizona federal prison after being convicted by a jury in 2010 of one count of aggravated kidnapping and one count of illegally transporting a minor across state lines for sexual purposes.

Now 28, Elizabeth Smart-Gilmour was rescued after being spotted in Sandy with Mitchell and Barzee nine months after her abduction at knife-point on June 5, 2002.

In the years since, Smart-Gilmour has become a child safety activist and contributor for ABC News. She also is an accomplished harpist.


Twitter: @remims

Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune Elizabeth Smart speaks at a press conference for missing Provo woman, 26-year-old, Elizabeth Elena Laguna-Salgado, who was last seen April 16. Friday, April 24, 2015.

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