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Amber Alert suspect avoids jail time

Posted at 6:24 AM, Mar 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-14 09:32:28-04

A woman who kidnapped her biological children last summer avoided a jail at a Tuesday sentencing.

On July 10, 33-year-old Bedajii Harnesberry allegedly kidnapped her biological children, ages 16, 14 and 11, from the home of her mother, who was acting as their guardian. The home is in the 7800 block of Desert Quail Lane in Marana.

Harnesberry originally faced charges including:

  •  Three counts of domestic violence custodial interference.
  •  Three counts of domestic violence child abuse for persons under 18.
  •  Three counts of domestic violence child abuse for persons under 18.
  •  Child abuse.
  •  Burglary in the second degree.
  • Attempted aggravated assault.

On Tuesday, a Pima County Superior Court judge accepted Harnesberry's guilty pleas to three counts of custodial interference, domestic violence and sentenced her to three years of probation. The other charges were dropped.

According to a report from the Pima County Sheriff's Department, authorities used Facebook to help track down a woman who kidnapped her biological children, setting off an Amber Alert.

The report also says ingredients to make homemade chloroform were found inside the home from which the kids were abducted.

Multiple police accounts say that Harnesberry told her mother she intended to take the kids with her, but the grandmother refused.

While the grandmother was in the shower, she heard a commotion in the home. When she noticed Harnesberry and the kids were gone, the grandmother went next door to call 911 and noticed Harnesberry was driving away from the property.

Authorities investigating the case say they found acetone, bleach, and measuring supplies on the kitchen counter, concluding that the two ingredients could be used to make chloroform. Documents show the grandmother showed police the items because she thought they were a little suspicous.

Investigators discovered that Harnesberry worked for Uber in Santa Fe, N.M., and theorized she could be heading there.

While on the road, Bedajii Harnesberry allegedly called her father in California, who he says asked her to wire her money. 

One of the three children made contact with a former foster parent and friend via text messages and social networks, including Facebook and Instagram.

Documents show authorities made contact with the former foster parent. In those reported messages the kids indicated they were okay, but were scared and did not know how to make the situation right, including Bedajii.

Below is a portion of the incident report: 

At one point, a text message indicated that Bedajii did understand that what she had done was illegal, but she believed it was teh best thing to do for her children.

Once deputies tracked down their location the information was given to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Troopers pulled over Harnesberry and arrested her near Globe, Ariz.

A spokesperson for PCSD says the children are now in DCS custody.

The report does not make a conclusion about whether chloroform was used on any of the children. PCSD says when the children were found they found no signs or symtoms of being exposed to chemicals.