UPDATE: Woman accused in Marana kidnapping extradited to Pima County

Bedajii Harnesberry (Source: Gila County Sheriff's Office)
Bedajii Harnesberry (Source: Gila County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 10, 2017 at 8:20 PM MST|Updated: Jul. 13, 2017 at 5:19 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARANA, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The woman accused of kidnapping her three children from a Tucson-area home early Monday, July 10, has been extradited back to Pima County.

According to records from the Pima County Jail, Bedajii Harnesberry is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Harnesberry, who was arrested near Globe early Tuesday, July 11, is facing 15 felony charges including custodial interference, endangerment, child abuse, second-degree burglary and attempted aggravated assault.

Authorities said the 33-year-old Harnesberry abducted her children from her mother's home in Pima County. Harnesberry's mother, the children's grandmother, has full legal custody.

An AMBER Alert was issued Monday afternoon, and Harnesberry and her children were found near Globe around 1:30 a.m. There were two other children with the group but Arizona DPS has not released any information as to the identity of the other children.

All five kids are safe.

There were problems with the AMBER Alert system Monday and many people reporting not getting the alert on their cell phones. Arizona DPS spokesmen said they are looking into the problem.

Approximately 24 hours later, DPS has not fully explained why the notification did not go out on cell phones.

When asked about the issue within a few hours of the alert, Trooper Kameron Lee, one of several spokesmen for the department, tweeted that DPS was checking with its "Amber Alert Coordinator" and that a fix likely would not happen until Tuesday.

Tuesday the department provided a statement that explained the system automatically sends the notification when required information is submitted.

However, in this particular case not enough information was available to trigger that automatic notification.  In the coming days, DPS, in its efforts for continuous improvement, will meet with our partners to determine if there are any improvements that can be made to the system or the processes involved in issuing Amber Alerts.

The statement added that DPS is grateful to the media and the public for its help in spreading the AMBER Alert information.

Officials said the incident began Monday morning when Harnesberry and her mother got into an argument.

At approximately 11:40 a.m., Pima County Sheriff's Department deputies responded to a home.

The grandmother said she went to a neighbor's house to make a call and when she came back, she saw her granddaughter getting into Harnesberry's car.

Harnesberry's mother tried to block her in with another vehicle, but Harnesberry ran into the car and was able to get away.

The grandmother said Harnesberry left behind chemicals and measuring glasses and may have used chloroform on the children.

According to the PCSD's policies and procedures, certain criteria must be met before they can activate an AMBER Alert.

Deputies or the sergeant in charge must find a child has been abducted, is in danger and that has to be information available to share with the public in hopes of helping the case.

Dep. Ryan Inglett, spokesman for the PCSD, said his department notified DPS to issue an AMBER Alert soon before it was sent.

Inglett said they could not be discussed publicly, but part of the investigation involves insuring that an abducted or missing child is legitimately in danger and the safe rescue cannot be done without the help of an AMBER Alert.

MOBILE USERS: Download our Tucson News Now app for Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.