SOUTH SALT LAKE — Wanda Barzee, one of Elizabeth Smart’s kidnappers who is newly released from prison and required to register as a sex offender, has listed a hotel just off 3300 S. as her address, sparking a variety of reactions from South Salt Lake residents.
Registered sexual offenders are required in Utah to update their address, which is available on a public database that is posted online, a common practice in many states. In Utah, the registry includes kidnapping offenders as well as offenders who have committed sexual offenses. The registry is searchable by address, name, city or “non-compliant,” meaning that the offender has not updated their address and whereabouts are unknown.
Neighbors who spoke with KSL had mixed feelings about Barzee’s presence.
“I would love to know what was going through her mind at that time, of the kidnapping, as opposed to what’s going through her mind right now,” one man said. “The punishment, I would state, is not enough. But she was tried [and] convicted and now she’s free.”
He went on to say that disagreement with the punishment should not translate into harassment against Barzee, whom he believes deserves a second chance.
“We don’t have to keep continually punishing her.”
Barzee’s freedom does have limits. As conditions of her federally-supervised release, she is subject to a 9 p.m. curfew and is not allowed to contact Smart or the Smart family.
Reporters and photographers gathered in the hotel parking lot on Wednesday hoping to confirm Barzee had indeed checked into the location, but at one point a manager came out and told the media representatives the person they were looking for was not there. That manager did not say whether she had been there or was expected to be later.
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