What's next? Wanda Barzee to walk free after 15 years in custody

Wednesday morning, Wanda Barzee, the woman who helped kidnap and hold captive Elizabeth Smart in 2002, will be a free woman. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — Wednesday morning, Wanda Barzee, the woman who helped kidnap and hold captive Elizabeth Smart in 2002, will be a free woman.

Elizabeth Smart spoke to CBS This Morning about Barzee's release.

“I’ve heard that she’s still carrying around this book of revelations that Brian Mitchell wrote that he should kidnap me—and not just kidnap me but six other young girls—that we would all be his wives," Smart said. "Clearly, she hasn’t let it go.”

For 15 years, Smart said she lived with the knowledge that this day was coming.

Am I concerned? Yeah, I am very concerned for the community, for the public, as much as I am for myself," she said.

The conditions of Barzee's release state that, unless she gets special permission, she must stay in the vicinity of the Salt Lake District Court and get mental health treatment. She must also find a job and could soon be in the community working.

But what will her first hours as a free woman be like?

“I think they’re incredibly difficult," said Brett Tolman, a former U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah.

Tolman has a unique connection to this case: he represented Smart and helped put Mitchell behind bars.

Tolman said the focus must be on mental health treatment, adding if Barzee doesn’t get treatment “it also could mean that she could have the same ideas, same thoughts, that were so dangerous.”

There’s a good chance Barzee already has a place set up to go to when she leaves prison on Wednesday, he said, because, on condition of her release, she can’t be homeless because federal agents need somewhere to check up on her.

Barzee's sister told 2News she is not welcome to stay with her or any immediate family.


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