SOUTH SALT LAKE — Police say a national media report that Wanda Barzee created a disturbance at a motel she is believed to be staying at was “unfounded.”
“Things got twisted around a whole lot,” said South Salt Lake detective Gary Keller. “We have had no contact with Wanda Barzee.”
TMZ reported Thursday that Barzee, who was released from Utah State Prison Wednesday morning, created a stir at the motel she was staying at. A guest complained she went on a religious tirade at the motel Wednesday night and police had to be called, according to the report.
Keller said police first responded to the motel Wednesday evening because motel staff complained about media parking in the motel lot. Police then responded to a report of a disturbance at the motel about 10 p.m. of a person beating on the doors wanting to sell drugs, which Keller said had nothing to do with Barzee.
An officer reported to the scene and contacted the complainant, which was “an elderly woman who was not Wanda Barzee” and the complaint was determined to be unfounded, Keller said.
A TMZ reporter contacted the South Salt Lake Police Department Thursday morning to ask about the incident and Keller said information got misconstrued.
“It was much ado about nothing,” he said.
Barzee, 72, was convicted for her role in the 2002 Elizabeth Smart kidnapping. She was released after state officials found last week that her sentence actually ended Wednesday and not January 2024, when it was originally listed as ending.
Since Barzee had to list as a sex offender as a part of her release, her address was released Wednesday. The address listed was a motel in South Salt Lake.