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$250,000 bail for woman who sparked Amber Alert

Staff reports

The King County Sheriff's Office says Sandra Bennatts ransacked her mother's home at knife point and tied her up on Sunday before kidnapping her own 6-year-old son, prompting an Amber Alert on Monday and a wild police chase.

Authorities cancelled the alert after the Chelan County Sheriff's Office found the 6-year-old boy, who has autism, safe on Monday and took his 34-year-old mother into custody. Bennatts is the non-custodial parent.

Bennatts made her first appearance in a King County Court Tuesday, when a judge set her bail at $250,000. Prosecutors had until Thursday to decide whether to charge her, according to Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor's Office.

According to court records, the Department of Social and Health Services had placed the boy with his grandmother because of multiple Child Protective Services referrals alleging child neglect and citing his mother's deteriorating health.

According to court records, Bennatts assaulted her mother at 8 p.m. Sunday as the older woman was climbing a staircase at her home. According to court records, Bennatts then took her mother to a storage room at the bottom level of the home, where she restrained her hands behind her back with tape and rope. According to court records, Bennatts then tied her mother's hands and feet together and blindfolded her. According to court records, the older woman ultimately freed herself at 6 o'clock the following morning and ran to a neighbor's house, from where she called 911

Bennatts was spotted near milepost 66 on Highway 2 near Stevens Pass, in her mother's car. A Snohomish County deputy observed the car on Highway 2 near Index, and a chase ensued. The deputy ended the chase when Bennatts' vehicle exceeded speeds of 100 mph, according to reports. Bennatts was out of the SUV and trying to flag down other motorists when she was taken into custody.

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