Facebook, Instagram helped catch Arizona Amber Alert suspect

Posted at 12:18 PM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 15:29:36-04

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

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

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.

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, Harnesberry packed up some clothes and got ready to leave with her kids. Her mother tried to stand in her way, but Harnesberry drove off anyway. Authorities investigated the home and saw acetone and bleach on the counter, concluding that the two ingredients were used to make chloroform.

Authorities 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. Instead, he contacted authorities.

The children made contact with a former foster parent and friend via text messages and social networks, including Facebook and Instagram. Authorities made contact with those the children were messaging, and asked them to turn on location settings.

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

The children were unharmed and returned to Harnesberry's mother in Marana.

Harnesberry faces 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.

The report does not make a conclusion about whether chloroform was used on any of the children.