Angela Ricci doesn't blame Elizabeth Smart's family for any negative things they might have said about her late husband, she told NBC's Today show Thursday.

Ricci said she understands the Smarts were "desperate" to find their daughter, and that she hopes the girl's safe return and the arrest of another man in the case will finally clear her husband's name.

Police in Salt Lake City had described Richard Ricci as the top potential suspect in Elizabeth's kidnapping last summer.

Ricci said she thinks police focused on her husband more than they should have, but adds she "couldn't change that."

Richard Ricci died while in prison on an unrelated parole violation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.