SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on the release of Elizabeth Smart’s kidnapper (all times local):
Elizabeth Smart says it is “incomprehensible” that a woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap her will be released from prison next week.
Smart said in a statement Tuesday she was “surprised and disappointed” to learn that Wanda Barzee will be freed after failing to undergo mental health evaluations and failing to attend her own parole hearing in June.
Smart says she’s exploring her “options” and plans to speak publicly in the coming days.
The Utah Board of Pardons and Parole said Tuesday that Barzee will be freed Sept. 19 after authorities determined they had miscalculated the time Barzee previously served in federal custody.
The board said previously that Barzee would be released in January 2024 after it denied her an early parole following a hearing that she chose not to attend. The board said at the June hearing that Barzee refused to take a psychological exam.
Barzee pleaded guilty to kidnapping Smart and helping keep her captive for nine months.
A woman convicted of helping a former street preacher kidnap Elizabeth Smart as a teenager from her Salt Lake City bedroom in 2002 and hold her captive will be released from prison next week.
The surprise move announced Tuesday comes after authorities determined they had miscalculated the time 72-year-old Wanda Barzee previously served in federal custody.